The University of Tennessee, Knoxville

Tennessee County Municipal Advisory Service

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Expense of Physical Ability/Agility Testing

Reference Number: MTAS-1216
Tennessee Code Annotated
Reviewed Date: October 12, 2017
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Unfortunately many local decision makers look at the expense of physical ability testing in terms of the number of police and firefighters serving the city times the individual cost of administering a medical examination. As an example, a police department with 20 officers times $300 each for medical examinations represents an expenditure of $6,000 annually, and an equal number of firefighters would represent another $6,000 annually, for a total of $12,000 for medical examinations. It is “penny wise and pound foolish” to view this expense as $12,000 for the examinations and their is no cost for not administering the examinations. The long-term cost for not administering the examinations may be added expense for insurance premiums, adverse court decisions costing much more than the cost of administering tests, increased worker’s compensation, increased overtime pay, and perhaps long-term disability or death of its valuable employees.