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2016 Officer Wellness Finalist
Sandy Springs (GA) Police Department (150 sworn)
In 2014, the department created and promoted a wellness program focused on health and fitness. The department commissioned a new two-story fitness center with cardio equipment, free weights, CrossFit equipment and defensive tactics equipment. Officers are allowed to exercise while on duty for one hour per shift. A trained law enforcement fitness coordinator is on hand to conduct fitness assessments, provide individual education, and assist in goal setting and support.
A three tier physical fitness incentive program is offered, based on the Cooper fitness standards, and is designed to accommodate officers of all fitness levels. Incentives include 16, 8 or 4 hours of paid time off, in addition to SSPD gym bags, folding chairs, and running jackets. Free annual physicals, which include bloodwork and CT scans are offered. Recently, one of the free CT scans revealed lung cancer in an officer. Since it was caught early, the officer was able to receive appropriate treatment and return to full duty.
The first year of the department’s health and fitness incentive program, 23 members participated. In 2015, participation increased to a total of 89. This represents a 60% departmental participation rate. One officer who joined the program lost 25 pounds in 3 months.