Should Guam's peace officers shape-up or lose their jobs? - KUAM.com-KUAM News: On Air. Online. On Demand.

Should Guam's peace officers shape-up or lose their jobs?

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 by Krystal Paco

Guam - Do you measure up? If you're a 40-year-old male police officer, your waistline should be no wider than 39 inches, your 1.5-mile run no greater than 15-minutes, and you must complete at minimum 34 situps and 27 pushups within a minute each.

This is just one example from the US Air Force Fitness Standards - the same standards adopted locally by the Peace Officer Standards and Training Commission - what POST Commission executive director Dennis Santo Tomas says is a condensed but adequate measure of health when compared to counterparts like the Marines or Army.

"The standards provide health risk ratios that indicate a susceptibility to cardiovascular diseases, Type Two diabetes, and certain cancers. Member productivity and lost duty time are also given strong emphasis," he said.

While many agreed that a measure that promotes health and wellness is a good thing, not all were satisfied with the language provided in the post commission's current draft.

According to GPD's Captain Ray Perez, Community Assisted Policing Effort officers cannot be included in the measure.

"I could not find anything that defines cape volunteers as either officers, peace officers, or sworn officers. It's like you said about security guards. Unless they're going to be included in the law, then they shouldn't be inserted in there," he said.

Perez also expressed concerns about time to meet such fitness standards. After all, peace officers work around the clock to keep the island safe.  "When you have a lot of time that you're placing into the job and you're putting in a lot of extra time when we have shortages in personnel, then it's a different thing," he said.

Meanwhile, GPD's Lt. Andrew Quitugua weighed in on the need to support law enforcement if such standards are to be implemented. Specifically, he says, funding must be available to provide for certified trainers.

He said, "We've done some research at the committee and we found that the Federal Law Enforcement Training Center, offers a course and in moving forward we would request that the POST Commission provide this ability 0044 meaning cost of course, to pay for us to have at least two - a primary and an alternate physical fitness or health and wellness coordinator."

Written testimonies will still be accepted on the standards. For more information, visit the POST Commission website off www.guamcc.edu
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