Ask a Cop – June 2012

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Illustration: Sean Hennefer

Dear Cop,
This may not apply to you, but I would really like to know what it takes to be a cop, physically. Are you on a strict diet? Do you go to the gym five days a week? Do you have to drink protein shakes for breakfast? I definitely don’t. But, I am not a cop.

Lately, I’ve been noticing that there are a lot of overweight cops. Guns are scary and all, but a gun can’t run and it’s not always right to shoot somebody.

Let’s say that in my really safe and secure West Side neighborhood, I happened to get robbed. Then, let’s say that a couple cops happen to see the whole thing go down and the guy/gal takes off running with my wallet. In the event that said cop was overweight/out of shape and unable to chase the perp down, could I sue the state for violating my rights as a citizen?

It’s a little unnerving that someone like me (who hardly ever works out) could probably outrun a lot of the cops I see around our city. I’m not just targeting Salt Lake. I’ve been to plenty of cities where the law enforcement looks like they take in one too many donuts.

So, Mr. Cop, my question to you is, are there any rules for cops about staying in peak physical condition while serving, or do you only have to pass the fitness test once? Am I allowed to press charges if something were to happen to me and it was the cop’s fault for being out of shape?

I’m not judging anyone on how healthy they are or are not, but you better believe I will judge a cop if he looks more than a little out of shape. My safety is in jeopardy man!
–Fearful of Fatties

Dear Fatty-Phobe,
SLUG’s Ask a Cop is an in-shape crime fighter.  However, any other Ask a Cop out there is horrendously FAT!  The whole donuts thing, it’s true.  Cops are fat.  As you suggest, a bullet is a lot faster than someone running.  Each cop has a radio that travels at the speed of light, so why would a cop ever need to be in shape?

I prefer Four Loko and the occasional Rockstar and vodka to a protein shake.  I do go to the gym at least five days a week: the Jackalope gym.  It’s right next to the District Courthouse and a block from Federal.  I used to go to a gym called Port O’Call, as it was right next to the Federal Court.  But, some religious zealots got the Feds to tear it down.  I fear my Jackalope gym is next.  Guess I’ll join the Green Pig gym.

If you contemplate getting “robbed” in your neighborhood, it is neither safe nor secure.  Just sayin’.  But, if the cop failed to run down the perp, I’m pretty sure you’d have an awesome lawsuit.  I don’t dispense legal advice, but I think you paying a $5K retainer to get that lawsuit filed is an excellent investment.  After all, your safety is in jeopardy, man!

Cops have to pass physical fitness requirements to graduate from the police academy.  Some departments require cops to pass a yearly test, but it’s so easy it’s almost pointless.  Even most fat cops pass it, but there are a few who become so fat, they fail and are fired.

Honestly, cops sit around in cars, eat junk food, drink too much, experience extreme stress and deal with the worst people the world has to offer all day, every day.  All those factors are prescriptions for fat.