The FBI is requiring agents to pass a fitness test for the first time in 16 years.
“The lives of your colleagues and those you protect may well depend upon your ability to run, fight and shoot, no matter what job you hold,” James B. Comey, the FBI director, said in October in an internal memo to agents, reported by Economic Times.
The fitness tests were launched by FBI Director J. Edgar Hoover.
Before the Sept .11 attack, agents had more time to stay fit.
The Economic Times wrote:
The tests are a response to concerns throughout the bureau about how its transformation after the Sept. 11, 2001, attacks, has put more stress on the agents and given them less time for fitness.
After the attacks, many agents who were accustomed to working normal hours and had spent their entire careers investigating crimes like gang violence or drugs – work that took them into the field to make arrests – began working 20-hour days as the FBI changed its primary mission to fighting terrorism.
Around the same time, the bureau drastically expanded its efforts in two areas that emphasized long desk hours: cybersecurity and intelligence. Many agents were sent to Iraq and Afghanistan. The increased demands manifested themselves in different ways. Some agents put on weight, while some suffered from anxiety and depression.