A “bear crawl” exercise in temperatures approaching 100 degrees at the Memphis police training academy led all 66 recruits in the class to file claims for on-the-job injuries, reports the Memphis Commercial Appeal. The exercise, which requires using hands as well as feet to walk or run like a bear, “is a routine exercise used by our physical training staff which builds upper body, arms, legs, lower back and abdominal strength,” said police spokeswoman Karen Rudolph.
The department would not release the extent of the injuries reported by the recruits because of federal health information privacy regulations. Rudolph said most of the injuries required no treatment, while some recruits received first aid at the academy. Complaints about the bear crawl exercise came after other cases in which police or firefighting recruits were injured or even died during area training programs.