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Law enforcement officers required to get in shape

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You may see more law enforcement hitting the pavement and breaking a sweat in the Hagatna area. That's because the Judiciary of Guam is already a step ahead when it comes to complying with a new law that requires peace officers to shape-up.

Simply stated: they'll be ready.

"We take the standards very seriously and our goal is to really have high pass rate and I don't see how we won't be able to do that when we've started two years prior to that test date," explained administrator of the courts Joshua Tenorio. According to him, there are over 130 law enforcement officers within the Judiciary. From marshals to probation officers and even school resource officers, training day has already begun to get the courts in compliance with newly-implemented Public Law 32-232. The legislation allows the Peace Officer Standards and Training Commission to deny, suspend, or revoke the certification of a peace officer for failing to meet the standards, including the physical fitness qualification test.

"The physical fitness standards is based on those given in the US Air Force, so it involves three components based on your sex and your age. There is a minimum number of sit-ups and pushups and also a minimum time you have to run a 1.5-mile run. On top of that, there's requirements for your waistlines, and that would be applicable to everybody," Tenorio added.

Although the standards don't take effect until December 2017, law enforcement officers in the courts already know where they stand thanks to quarterly diagnostics tests, the first of which took place in February and a second scheduled for May. "Starting early and giving some benchmarks - we've had excellent training. I think that's the way to go and I think the other agencies should follow suit," he added.

So how are the courts fairing? Tenorio assessed, "So far I would say maybe after May I will give you a gauge but right now more than a majority our marshals and probably about half our probation officers right at first test were already compliant."

But it's not only the court's uniformed men and women getting active as Tenorio reports they're also preparing to launch their third annual Active for Life program, a partnership with the American Cancer Society that encourages employees to get physical. :"If you invest in the healthcare of your employee, the cost for their health insurance will go down. The number of days absent for sick leave will go down and morale goes up. Those are all good things," Tenorio said confidently.
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