Those overweight cops
Published by the Visayan Daily Star Publications, Inc.
|NINFA R. LEONARDIA|
Editor-in-Chief & President
NIDA A. BUENAFE
MAJA P. DELY
ANTONIO L. LEONARDIA|
The latest figures provided by the Philippine National Police Health Service say that about 52 percent of policemen assigned at the PNP headquarters at Camp Crame are overweight and 9 percent are considered obese. Of the 6,253 policemen there, only 2,376 or 38 percent have normal weight, while the rest are overweight. Those worrying statistics have prompted the PNP leadership to conduct an eight-week weight loss challenge that will give a P20,000 reward to the policeman in Camp Crame who can achieve the highest percentage weight loss, as well as encourage all policemen nationwide to start living a healthy lifestyle.
If those figures are representative of the national average for policemen, then we should be worried because there is no way that policemen can do their jobs properly when it comes to the physically demanding tasks that come with enforcing laws and fighting criminality in this country. If one in every two of them are either overweight or obese in a country where there are not enough properly working police cars and motorcycles, and the police force is severely undermanned, how can a fat policeman run after and arrest a fleeing snatcher or pickpocket?
Pot-bellied policemen not only become ineffective at fighting crime, they sully the image of the police force, especially if they are not the minority in their respective police stations. The top brass in the PNP, as well as station commanders should not have to wait until their personnel become fat and ineffective before they institute policies and programs that encourage a fit and healthy lifestyle. A surplus of fit and healthy policemen will not only improve the peace and order situation in their communities, it will also improve their personal lives and sense of well being, too.*