Opinion: Fit policemen

POSTED: 07/5/11 12:57 PM

After we reported about fat policemen yesterday, we have something to say about fit policemen today. Before we get into the thick of things, we’d like to point out that we’re not in the habit of making fun of people’s appearance. The world is full of tall, short, thin, fat, ugly, beautiful, white, black, yellow and what have you people and we’re all in this adventure on planet earth together.

In the Netherlands there are concerns about the fitness of police officers, and yesterday we learned that those concerns are alive in St. Maarten as well. We have sturdy policemen and women on the force, trim officers and others who could lose some weight. There are also guys, especially on the arrest team, who look like superman when they come to the courthouse dresses in balaclavas and all the other gear that is part of their regular outfit. So we have all kinds.

The old cement factory in Sucker Garden will be turned into a training facility for the police. It will have a shooting range and also a gym. Somebody apparently donated part of a gym to the Justice Ministry, so maybe the donor is anxious to see our police officers get in better shape.

The requirements to become a police officer are about age (between 17.5 and 29 years), nationality (Dutch) and behavior (no criminal record).

So if you’re a Jamaican who has lived here for like, twenty years, but you don’t have the Dutch nationality you cannot become a police officer. If you’re Dutch and you are 47 – forget it. If you are 18, Dutch and you have a criminal record – forget it as well.

But how fit do you have to be? We probably missed something there, but we were comforted when we saw the fourteen new recruits who were presented yesterday morning during a meeting at the Justice Ministry. These boys and girls all looked very fit indeed – and now they have to make sure that they keep in shape.

Next year the police force will introduce an annual fitness test. Officers who don’t pass the test won’t be allowed to work on the street anymore – so that’ll probably be a good motivation for people who prefer a desk job to take their dinner at McDonalds every day.

But seriously, that fitness test is a good idea and it will most likely motivate many officers to make sure that they don’t become the laughing stock of the force by failing it.



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