Public invited to weigh-in on new fitness standards - KUAM.com-KUAM News: On Air. Online. On Demand.

Public invited to weigh-in on new fitness standards

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 by Krystal Paco

Guam - At the end of the month residents will have a chance to weigh in on proposed standards that would require the island's peace officers to shape up in coming years.

"Police, fire, Customs, there are agricultural conservation officers," explained Peace Officer Standards and Training Commission executive director Dennis Santo Tomas. "There are Airport Police officers, there are Port Police officers, there are Marshals, there are probation officers - so it's quite a number of officers - basically our law enforcement community in general. It's quite a number of people who will be affected by this new administrative rule coming out of the POST Commission." He's speaking a physical fitness qualifications test that would serve as a minimum standard for local peace officers. The test is identical to the one used by the U.S Air Force.

Recently, the standards were accepted by the POST Commission. Now, it's the public's turn to chime in. "Once the public hearings are conducted, again that's an opportunity for the public to ask questions, maybe make some suggestions, or even to voice some concerns about the administrative rules that have been drafted up thus far," he added.

According to the Air Force's website, the fitness test includes an evaluation of body measurements, a timed 1.5-mile run, and pushups and situps. "I believe the standards are reasonable again as the POST Commission and as agency heads we have a responsibility to look out after the health and welfare of our officers and employees in general<" said Santo Tomas.

Following public hearings, the standards will be forwarded to the legislature for review before they roll out as a three year package. Year 1 would encompass educational outreach and ask that peace officers check their doctors for medical limitations, in Year 2 agencies and departments would begin diagnostic testings, and by Year 3, weigh in. "It's something we can do to ensure our officers are fit to do their jobs and that we keep them healthy," he said.

Public hearings are scheduled for July 29 and 30 at the Guam Community College Student Center in Room 5108 from 1-3pm.

For more information and a list of frequently asked questions, visit the POST Commission website, which can be found on GuamCC.edu.
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