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80% police overweight statistic is cause for concern; Americans demand better

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Many Americans may be shocked to know that 80% of police are overweight. This disturbing statistic, which was released by the FBI, raises the following question: Should police be subjected to regular fitness tests and have their salaries cut for successive failures? The findings have spurred the Garland Police Department in Texas to make a plan for their officers to improve their fitness, The Christian Post said in an Aug. 15 report.“When you’re in a life or death struggle, you’ve got to win that fight, "said Garland Assistant Chief Jeff Bryan said about the importance of keeping fit.

While 80% of police in the US are overweight, obesity plagues the police regime in several countries. Not too long ago, overweight policemen in an Indonesian city were ordered to join an exercise program because many of them were too slow to catch fleeing criminals.

"The pot-bellied police run too slow," Mr Wahyu Widada, police chief of Tangerang, near the capital Jakarta, told AFP.

The Indonesian police force is not the only one to have taken steps to fight against the excess weight of their troops. In 2009, to fight against obesity among its troops, Mexican police set up a nutrition education program.

In 2011, Russia's interior ministry issued a warning to its overweight police officers -- lose weight or lose your job. "The fat and paunchy will not get through," Interior Minister Rashid Nurgaliyev was quoted as saying at a meeting.

This author believes that the American people have a right to expect good physical condition from the police that protect them. It becomes a serious security problem when police become so overweight that they can not run after a criminal. So what do you think? Should America follow in the footsteps of others and establish mandatory fitness requirements for police officers? Share your opinion in the comments section below.

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