Frank Borelli
Editor-in-Chief
Officer.com

Just recently on our forums someone posted a video of an event that happened in the course of a law enforcement officer's duties. The event itself was interesting but the person posting it saw fit ONLY to comment on the physical condition of the officer. It was interesting how many forum members reported the post as "insulting to LE" because the original poster commented that the officer was over-weight (I think the term was "sloppy fat"). Yeah, that's insulting. But is it the truth? I'm retired now so I have a ready excuse for not needing to be in shape to work the street. But I KNOW it's nothing more than an excuse. Given that I still carry a gun and THINK I see a warrior when I look in the mirror, there is NO excuse for being 10% over-weight. In my case, 10% is 20 pounds. Sure, my best friend tells me I can lose 20 pounds of ugly fat by simply cutting my head off, but I think that might be counter-productive to future performance. My wife can't complain about my weight because we are equally comfortable in our marriage (how careful was THAT said). But just two short weeks ago I found myself at a conference discussing defensive tactics over adult beverages late in the evening (thank goodness there were no guns involved in the talk), and I realized that I was presenting the point of view of a guy who believes in physical fitness for police officers, but quite obviously wasn't practicing what I was preaching. Hypocrisy sucks... SO, I entered into another one of those conversations and it was brought to my attention that a great many law enforcement agencies don't maintain fitness standards for their officers past rookie level. Others mandate a fitness test with minimum passing levels to attain promotions. Some of those fitness tests require officers or deputies to perform tasks that have little to nothing to do with the job they perform on the street. After all, the next time you have to aprpehend a suspect I don't think you'll be doing as many push-ups as you can in two minutes, or as many sit-ups as you can in two minutes, or seeing how many pull-ups you can do before you're allowed in the chow hall (military police thing). What you may find yourself doing is running after someone, hopping a fence, rolling down a hill, jumping over a lawn chair, climbing over a taller fence, tackling someone and then fighting to get them handcuffed. How do we prepare for that? In my world the first answer is simple: I start out by losing the 20 pounds of excess weight I don't need to carry into a fight. In the process I probably will increase my strength, flexibility and cardio-vascular fitness. I KNOW my first and most valuable weapon is ME. I KNOW that I have nine personal weapons (two feet, two knees, two hands, two elbows and my head) but I have to be in sufficient physical condition to use them. What's YOUR first answer?
About the Author

Lt. Frank Borelli (ret), Editorial Director | Editorial Director

Lt. Frank Borelli is the Editorial Director for the Officer Media Group. Frank brings 20+ years of writing and editing experience in addition to 40 years of law enforcement operations, administration and training experience to the team.

Frank has had numerous books published which are available on Amazon.com, BarnesAndNoble.com, and other major retail outlets.

If you have any comments or questions, you can contact him via email at [email protected].

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