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john65pennington's avatar

Whats going on in Jackson, Mississippi?

Asked by john65pennington (29187points) May 10th, 2010

The Jackson, Mississippi police department has just released a news item, stating one-third of its police applicants, failed their physical agility test. they could not complete the one and a half mile run, because of obesity. Jackson, Mississippi is the nations capital for obese citizens, so this may be the problem. the city of Jackson is considering lowering the physical training requirements, in order to attract more citizens into the police occupation. is this really a good idea? police officers generally gain weight after 5 years on the job. being “out of shape” is a safety hazard for the officer as well as the proper protection for the people of Jackson. Question: is lowering the physical requirements, in Jackson, Mississippi for police applicants, in reality going to hurt the officers, citizens and Jacksons budget because of obese and future medical problems of unfit police officers?

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6 Answers

bongo's avatar

I would say so, a police officer should be able to run a mile and a half! its not exactly far. I would feel if the police department in my area were unable to chase after criminals then there will be more criminals on the street being able to get away from the scene of the crime. I would definately feel safer in a community knowing that the police can acutally catch the criminals they are going after.
Police also have to be fit as they have to be able to complete first aid training, you wouldnt want someone who is going to pass out from tiredness halfway through giving someone CPR, that is a very energetic activity and sometimes you may have to continue to to it for a long time. people in those kinds of jobs have to be fit. other peoples lives can depend on it, not just their own.

marinelife's avatar

I would say that lowering the physical standards is not the answer. Perhaps a pre-qualification physical training class would be better.

john65pennington's avatar

The Mayor of Jackson now states they are considering lowering the police applicants qualifications, in order to avoid discrimination lawsuits. i say this, its either discrimination lawsuits now or future civil lawsuits for its officers “failing to act”, because of obesity or unfit physical conditions. its either one way or the other.

Source: USA Today, 05–10-10

perspicacious's avatar

It’s never a good idea to lower requirements and standards for any occupation, regardless of the reason. The department can try to recruit from other states, it’s done all of the time.

susanc's avatar

It probably doesn’t matter as long as the only criminals in Jackson live in Jackson and are equally out of shape. The problem would lie in out-of-town criminals finding out that the police in Jackson can’t run. If I were a criminal, I would go there right away.

netgrrl's avatar

The article does not cite just obesity as the reason many of the current applicants were denied, but also general strength & agility declines in those who were not overweight.

This is really a national problem. I believe a study in Massachusetts stated that 77% of their current police & emergency services personnel were overweight.

Clarion-Ledger, Jackson MS

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