Public safety is a weighty issue
Key West CitizenAugust 13, 2017
I am writing to express concerns regarding public safety and those individuals who have sworn to uphold it.
Several years ago I had opportunity to ask Police Chief Donie Lee if there was a requirement that police officers maintain good physical health, and his reply was that there was not. During that same time period, while volunteering at the county library on Fleming Street, I observed county sheriff’s deputies who were overweight, even obese.
In the past week or so, two pictures have appeared in The Citizen of city police officers and county sheriff’s deputies who were all overweight. In no way do I want to single out these employees; I am grateful for their service in being in positions where they are putting their lives on the line on my behalf. These pictures indicate to me that if there are policies regarding officers maintaining good health, they are not being enforced.
This situation can make one feel less confident of being protected when one’s safety is at risk. Personally, I would be concerned for my own safety and equally concerned that the intervening officer could suffer a life-altering cardiac event rendering both of us in danger.
Also, if there are enforced policies that require public safety personnel to maintain good health, it puts the city and county in enhanced bargaining positions to seek lower costs for workers’ compensation insurance and personnel health insurance saving all of us money.
It is a win-win situation of everyone.