The circuit judge in the state capital is requesting $87,120 to pay for yearly gym memberships for local employees of the police department, adult and juvenile courts, jail and juvenile detention centers, and adult and juvenile probation officers. The initiative will provide membership to 242 people, and it is expected to be paid through raising taxes or fees. Even though it seems to be a minor change, it is believed to have a considerable positive impact on local quality of services, public safety, and the profession’s prestige. No ethical, legal, or political implications of the matter were identified that could either support or oppose the idea.
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Even though police officers have the right to be obese, they are required to be physically and mentally fit to perform their duties. According to Otu, obesity is a major concern to American society since overweight and unfit officers are a danger to themselves and to the public (1074). A gym membership can positively affect the physical form of police department employees that would help avoid obesity. In the long run, the initiative will be paid off through decreased healthcare bills from cardiovascular diseases and arthritis (Otu 1074). Fit officers will provide better quality services, which will positively affect public safety outcomes, which will generate trust among the population.
The initiative is also supposed to become an effective tool for improving public relations. Police officers training in gyms are positive role models for the youth. This is expected to improve the current situation with department understaffing. The local police department is experiencing a shortage of front-line employees, including police officers and probation officers. Better public relations and a positive image of police employees can influence the future career choices of the youth. Therefore, the initiative is to be treated as a minor investment in the present and the future of the local police force. It will give desired benefits to more than 240 people, improve their well-being, decrease health-related expenditure, and boost public relations. Since there are no political, ethical, or legal barriers to the implementation of the project, the initiative seems to be a cost-efficient matter that will be supported by the majority of stakeholders.
Otu, Noel. “Obesity Warning for Police Officers.” Journal of Social Science Research, vol. 6, no. 3, 2015, pp. 1073-1082.