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They can’t get over the wall. It’s 6-feet tall, made of smooth wood. Nothing to hold or stand on.

Even the tallest men are struggling.

“Run at it. Get a grip. Haul yourself up,” shouts a coach in a red shirt. “Don’t give them a huge target.”

You never know when you’re going to have to chase a suspect over a wall.

It’s a drizzly day in late September. The police recruits are lined up behind St. Petersburg College’s Allstate Center, between the rifle range and shoot house.

Three weeks into training, they’ve learned to keep their eyes on the door, do push-ups on cadence, tell reasonable suspicion from probable cause, frisk someone, search a car and carry coffee in their left hand so they can grab their gun with their right.

This morning, they’re starting the obstacle course that’s designed to predict their perils: crawl under a fence, slither through a tube, hoist yourself into a make-shift attic.

They’re slick with sweat, covered in dirt, cheering each other on.

“You got it! Come on! Keep going!” If you fall, you have to start over.

“You have three chances,” the coach says.

In the real world, you might only get one.

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