Require police officers to meet minimal physical fitness standards
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There is no national standard for fitness for law enforcement officers. Out of shape officers are more likely to be injured, require additional health care, and will be less in control of physical situations requiring them to use more force. Additionally they are simply less able to protect themselves and others. Although some great and brave police officers may not be in good physical condition, all of these great officers would be better and healthier officers if they were more fit. There is no logical argument that officers are better if they are less fit.
Any department that wants federal funding for any program must have a policy requiring officers to be above the 50% level of general fitness for their sex and age group based on commonly used and validated standards such as the Cooper Clinic Standards. There would be obvious exceptions for injuries and illness and a probationary period allowing officers time to meet the minimum standard.
Officers are required to qualify annually with their sidearms, yet only a fraction of officers will ever use them in self defense or defense of others. Every officer will have to use their physical skills to overcome resistance at numerous points in their career. They are sworn to protect us, just like our military, and they should have to meet minimal fitness standards yearly just like our military. There is simply no valid well-meaning excuse to allow out of shape officers. This will help both our officers and our communities by making them more safe and healthy while saving tax payer money.
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