November 2, 2006, - 8:58 am

A Little Too Sensitive?: Fat Cops & Female Politicos

By Debbie Schlussel
Some people in America need to lighten up and stop being so sensitive. Some try to say that about us, but we think these stories illustrate the absurd extent to which the speech police have gone:
* Winterhaven, Florida Police Chief Paul Goward is out of a job for something so offensive on October 11th, he was fired. His “outrageous” offense: He sent a memo to his 80-member police force calling them “jelly bellies” and calling upon them to get in shape.
Apparently, Goward’s department was the butt of jokes about fat cops and doughnuts. But he hurt the feelings of his donut-chomping minions, and he was forced to resign. Are they women? Just asking.
And yes, your cop uniform makes you look fat. When you are.

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Ex-Police Chief Paul Goward’s Fat Cop Memo

Thomas Roe Oldt, a columnist for the Ledger of nearby Lakeland, has an excellent column on Goward’s memo and his chubby cops. Here are some excerpts:

It seems like stating the obvious, but shouldn’t a basic requirement of police officers be the physical ability to tackle fleeing felons? That would necessarily exclude the overweight and the out of shape, one would think.
For that very reason, Paul Goward, who abruptly became Winter Haven’s former police chief last week, sent an e-mail to some of his officers sensibly pointing out that ‘if you are obese and/or out of shape you are a predictable liability to yourself, your family, your partner, this department, the city of Winter Haven and the citizens of our city.’
Goward went on to suggest those who needed to should ‘see a professional about a proper diet and a fitness training program, quit smoking, limit alcohol intake and start thinking self-pride, confidence and respectability. And stop making excuses for delaying what you know you should have been doing years ago.’
He wasn’t even mandating, merely suggesting. In short, he offered tremendously good advice, yet he was sacked. . . .
Isn’t the whole point of government to protect the governed?
In the case of police officers, can that function reasonably be expected to be carried out by the obese and the out of breath?
Surely it is axiomatic that the apprehension of criminals is a basic police purpose, and let’s face it, a lot of these folks are literally running from the law. You can see it yourself on Court TV’s ‘Cops,’ so it must be true.
A side from the apparently not universally obvious need to physically apprehend perps, you want your police force to project an image of competent authority— born of actual competence presented authoritatively.
Nothing detracts from that projection like a fat cop. . . .
Is there something inherently wrong with the theory that those charged with enforcing the law ought to have the demonstrable ability to chase fleeing criminals and make an arrest? Put them on the ground? Bust their felonious butts?
Sometimes physical strength is part of the job description. . . .
What’s next? Firefighters who can’t climb ladders and lift hoses? EMTs who can’t stand the sight of blood? Meter readers who can’t read?

Amen. Someone ought to tell the cops of Winterhaven that “Chubby Chasers” is the moniker for people who like fat chicks, NOT cops who are supposed to be pursuing criminals.
* Texas Independent Gubernatorial candidate Carole Keeton Strayhorn is in a lather over an ad by her opponent, incumbent Republican Governor Rick Perry. In it he calls her,

Mrs. Corrupt Comptroller Politician Woman.

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Independent Carol Strayhorn vs. GOP Gov. Rick Perry in Texas

Strayhorn claims that the ad is sexist and suggests a woman is imcapable of holding office and “not tough enough to be governor.” Huh? That’s not at all what it says. Curiously, Strayhorn is not complaining about Perry’s ad against Democratic challenger Chris Bell, which calls him,

Mr. Way Too Liberal For Texas Guy.

Using her logic, isn’t the implication of that one that men are incapabe of holding office and “not tough enough to be governor”?
We like Perry’s response to Strayhorn’s complaint. His spokesman, Ted Royer, said he found it curious that Strayhorn was complaining about the word “woman” and and not the word “corrupt.”

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3 Responses

There are so many fat, out of shape cops patrolling our streets. I thought that the PFT was a yearly event. It better damn-well be if we’re paying their salaries. Goward’s state of employment should be the decision of the tax payers, not the limp-wristed beaurocrats! Part of the job requires that a police officer be in above-average physically fit condition.

Yiddish Steel on November 2, 2006 at 12:38 pm

I can tell you why there are more fat cops than in the recent past.
It is called affirmative action. When most police agencies changed the physical agility standards for females so they could be hired, it caused a chain reaction.
When agencies try and discipline men for being fat the unions use the fact that females cannot pass the standards as an argument they cannot fire a male cop for being as out of shape as the females they have hired under affirmative action polices do not meet the Physical Standards.
The agencies then back off because the Union can prove they change standards for unqualified female hires.
The unintended consequences of lowering the Standard, so one affirmative action group, can be hired even though they do not meet the Standard.
This is a true story, I used to be on the board of directors of a police union which by the way opposed lowering the standards for female hires in the first place.

ScottyDog on November 2, 2006 at 2:39 pm

G-d forbid that we ask people to excercise self control. Wasn’t that fast food tax supposed to fix all this?
Oh, and I think I know the real source of the jelly-belly cop problem. It’s all those 24 hour Dunkin Donuts shops!

BB on November 3, 2006 at 1:33 am

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