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Police get fit

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January 13, 2003

TIFTON -- Tifton Police officers go through their first day of training to be more physically fit.

"Most police officers are overweight," Chief Jim Smith says. "We have false sense we're in shape, when most are out."

Admittedly, the weight training, situps, pushups, and 1.5 mile run are difficult for most, even an ex- marine, ten years removed from his last workout.

"I could run faster, do more pushups, pullups, everything then," Patrolmen Steven Laska says.

"We hope getting their scores on paper, will help them to be motivated to be in better shape," Cindy Spurlin, an instructor with Tifton's Fitness and Wellness Center, says.

The chief, who has to go through the training as well, hopes the more physically fit the cops are, the better they can do their jobs.

"That's what it's all about, to make sure you can run, so that you have that burst of energy to place someone under arrest,"

Now the police officers will have to keep with their workouts and a change of diet for the rest of the year, something Patrolman Laska is looking forward to. "Hard to do it by yourself, team effort here will keep up motivation."

The best motivation, job advancement, because in about six months, fitness guidelines will be established based on the officer's age and gender. Whether or not they're meeting those new fitness guidelines might just mean the difference between getting a promotion or not.

posted at 5:46 p.m. by dave.d'marko@walb.com