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Fitness standards could include airport force, DYA

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Enhancing the Peace Officers Standards and Training Commission, legislation has been introduced to include the Airport Rescue and Firefighters and the Department of Youth Affairs as members, as the law enforcement community inches closer and closer to December when physical fitness requirements for them take effect.

Tasked with securing the island's troubled youth, DYA officers have been hard at work both on and off the clock: to get healthy.

David Afaisen, Jr. DYA superintendent, told KUAM News, "They've been doing their PT. They've been pretty active and looking forward to making sure they abide by the POST requirements." Afaisen has been with the agency for the past two decades, so he knows all too well the challenges in getting his officers up to speed with meeting the POST physical fitness requirements.

"The offices are still kind of worried but they are doing their best to make sure they still pass that PT test," he added. "And despite any concerns, DYA officials say they are confident its officers will be ready when it comes time to take the test."

"Some of that other stress outside the box from reporting for duty. One of the biggest challenges is I have four shifts overall where they rotate. Within those hours on duty they get to have a break but during this time they also have to be up to par with required PT standards so all of this is extra weight on their shoulders."

Afaisen says ultimately the training has made his staff stronger as a whole and improved their overall health. Now, the department is looking to progress with a measure that has been introduced to give them voting power on the POST commission.

Public safety chair Senator Telena Nelson is the author of Bill 206, and said, "If we are equally being looked at to meet the same requirements, we want to also look at the rank and status within the department. That's one of the significant things we can oversee. We are looking at meeting the same requirements in POST across the board then maybe they can consider also the status of pay scale and rank within the department and those are some of the things we look at as we evolve within POST requirement."

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