I hate to pick on the Portland Police again, but I can’t really help
it this time. At least this story isn’t about another Portland Police
officer with a DUI. No, this is about paying Portland Police officers
a “health and fitness premium” for taking a biometric screening.
Basically, officers got paid an additional $739 for the screening, which
consisted of having their blood pressure, height, and weight checked and
getting their fingers pricked for blood. That’s it. They did not
have to take any sort of physical fitness test.
The Portland City Council agreed to the premium pay as part of union negotiations,
but now council commissioner Dan Saltzman hopes to rescind the pay until
police officers are actually tested for physical fitness. The original
plan was for officers to take an actual fitness exam, but negotiations
hit a snag when the police union voiced concerns about officers having
to take the exam during off-duty hours with no overtime pay. The biometric
screening then became an option.
I don’t know about you, but I would certainly like Portland Police
officers to be physically fit. If they are out of shape, how are they
going to chase down criminals? For more on this story, see