Unfit for Duty

Doctor writing

Depending on who you talk to, obesity is either a really big deal or much ado about nothing.

Military officials say obesity has radically reduced the number of potential recruits who are fit for duty.

Last week, a Carrollton, Texas, cop—Cory Cook—was put on administrative leave pending a “fitness for duty” evaluation, according to a Carrollton police spokeswoman.

Carrollton police officer Cory Cook (photo: LinkedIn)
Carrollton police officer Cory Cook (photo: LinkedIn)

Another cop in Nebraska was suspended in 2007 when his supervisors said his weight kept him from performing his duties. The officer was later reinstated.

Health experts say obesity is a much less serious problem in police ranks than it is with the population as a whole.

But there are questions about when an officer’s lifestyle and size might make it difficult for him or her to perform their duties.

Pete Schulte, a defense attorney and former McKinney police officer, says being physically fit is part of an officer’s job. And when weight becomes a problem, it can pose risks to the public and fellow officers.

“If they get so out of breath [in a foot chase] that they can’t draw their gun and fire, that’s an issue,” Schulte said.


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