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Dames Wants Police To Pass Fitness Tests

Minister of National Security Marvin Dames.

Minister of National Security Marvin Dames.

By Morgan Adderley

Tribune Staff Reporter

madderley@tribunemedia.net

NATIONAL Security Minister Marvin Dames is calling for a physical fitness standard to be implemented for law enforcement agencies in the country, and particularly within the Royal Bahamas Police Force.

Mr Dames made the comments yesterday at the Tradewinds 2018 Phase II closing ceremony, held at the Royal Bahamas Defence Force Coral Harbour Base.

The minister of national security added that the standard is important both from a health perspective and cost-wise.

Addressing RBDF Commodore Tellis Bethel, Mr Dames said, “You and I have had some discussions in the past about physical fitness and the need for certainly a regional physical fitness standard.

“One that encourages the entire region to come together from time to time, and (call it) a fitness challenge, that will get our men and women in law enforcement to participate and to gain interest in keeping physically fit. Because no doubt there is a need for that. And we know that the military often leads the way.”

However, Mr Dames said some “other forces” are “crying out” for some physical fitness standard.

He added that he has already had discussions with Commissioner of Police Anthony Ferguson on the need for a physical fitness standard in the RBPF and other law enforcement agencies in the country.

“I think it bodes well for any number of reasons: one, it keeps the officers stimulated and motivated and interested and it builds morale.

“It also saves money, because we don’t have to keep buying uniforms for the same officers (due to) size increase.

“And so I stand here to say that the people of the Bahamas can expect to see the changes in the physical fitness standards of our law enforcement agencies,” he said.

Speaking to reporters at the end of the ceremony, Mr Dames added that this initiative is “no secret,” and he has been having such discussions with the RBDF since last year.

“We want to see law enforcement officers that are in the best condition and the best shape. In many countries, there are standards. The defence force has a standard.

“The commissioner (of police) is looking at introducing a standard certainly for this first cohort that’s due to come in shortly; the 105 recruits.”

In terms of health, Mr Dames said this initiative will be carried out in conjunction with the Ministry of Health, adding that it is in part of the overall goal to have a healthier Bahamas.

“We have a vested responsibility as a government, and me certainly as minister of national security, to make certain that the officers within these agencies are healthy, they love what they’re doing, and they can do it to the best of their ability.”

When asked if the standard would be based on Body Mass Index or the ability to complete certain physical tasks, Mr Dames suggested it would be on the Body Mass Index.

“You’re obviously very aware of health when you start speaking to Body Mass Index. A very long time ago I attended the FBI academy. I was there for…a little more than three months. And one of the primary focus during that training was physical fitness. And so we walked in, we did BMI, did everything. At the end of the training, there was a measurement,” he said.

Tradewinds 2018 was a multinational exercise involving participants from more than 20 countries.

In his speech, Commodore Bethel said the exercise was focused on improving regional security through “combined joint training.”

He also said it gave law enforcement officers the opportunity to train and improve tactical skills, procedures, and policing “with security forces of partner nations on the home front.”

Comments

HonestTruth 1 month ago

Lol this won’t end well, is Dames indirectly trying to get rid of 50% of the force. The Bahamas is the 6th fattest country in the world for a reason....

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TalRussell 1 month ago

Ma Comrade, honestly, this totally physically in shape Imperial red shirts cabinet will not stop anywhere short their call eradication Corned Beef out cupboards citizens and residents. You knows what they says - First the government takes away policeman's tins Corned Beef - then you move onto the citizens and residents. Whats next - rekindling OBAN fake signature for another attempt at crazy red shirts economics?

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Greentea 1 month ago

HonestTruth- this is the FIRST thing I thought of when I saw this headline. 80 percent of the force over weight- they are a mirror image of the Bahamas. He is trying to trim the force in more ways than one! lol. But I agree with him 100%. I watched two police chase a thief on Bay Street one day and thought I would have to give the man CPR- he could not keep up- his companion continued the chase but that thief needed to suit up for the olympic team - gone- tourist purse in hand!

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bogart 1 month ago

Shouldnt this physical fitness already be a criteria for being on the force.....employed ....as a police officer.....who at any time can be called to ...run after the culprits....climb over a wall.....climb up a tree.....lift a weapon weighing a few pounds....bend over to duck an object....bend over to pick up a pen.....reach up to retrieve an object.....see the colour of dere shoe..ffit in da seat belt.....small size japanese car ...ride a police bicycle.....apart from fitting inside of dere regular sized uniform which should cost less to tailor ??????????......good crime fighting strategy for a fitter force.

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BahamaRed 1 month ago

About damn time... these criminals running, driving, ducking, dodging, and shooting circles around the police.

I have long said there should be a fitness standard to be on active duty in any of our armed forces.

How you expect to apprehend immigrants and criminals and can't even walk a flight of stairs without getting winded. If you are in any active duty status there should be a requirement of fitness to be maintained. Now if you aren't active duty and just sit behind a desk that's different.

We like slackness too much around here, fat sudgy police. Smh

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geostorm 1 month ago

too funny......fat and sudgy!

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tell_it_like_it_is 1 month ago

Lol interesting. You may want to add a psychological evaluation as well for when these body cams magically cannot turn on.
But on a serious note, the psych test is also a good idea because I'm sure some of these officers suffer PTSD (with all of these gruesome crimes and dangerous criminals).

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sheeprunner12 1 month ago

It is about frigging time .......... almost every officer has a beer belly 5 years after passing out ........ so they shoot suspects because they cannot run them down anymore.

Good idea, Dames ............ Get and keep these fat police in some form of physical and mental health (for themselves).

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screwedbahamian 1 month ago

The Bahamas is a small country and should make it mandatory that at least 50 percent of High school graduates who are 18 and older, and are not registered at an academic institution to further their education register with the RBPD or Defense force for a minimum of three years of serve to the country .This service will be a prerequisite for future government employment. This will ensure that our ARM forced are physically fit and teach of young people the laws,protecting our country and being true Bahamian citizens.

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ThisIsOurs 1 month ago

Hmmm...I don't know if I want to have a force of dropouts authorized to exercise power... Maybe establish some other civilian force to alleviate pressures on the defence force and police force.

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sheeprunner12 1 month ago

True ......... we need a form of National Youth Service to be made mandatory, based on ROTC criteria, to be served with either Police or Defense Force. That should be a criteria for ALL high schoolers before finishing school ..... these millennial youth need some serious discipline, training, manners and responsibility ...... they are too rude, spoilt, slack, entitled, tech-dependent, and LAZY.

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ThisIsOurs 1 month ago

It is a mystery that they send the big belly police in khaki to accompany senior officials. If I were PM I'd want Captain Bahamas guarding me, lots of muscles to fight the bad guys and he could run fast and keep up with me when I break off running away from the demonstrators.

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John 1 month ago

Why pass a fitness test when you can pass your target practice...18 holes in one round!

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birdiestrachan 1 month ago

He no games dames will do well to be sure they are intelligent, have the ability to think quickly. and act quickly. endowed with good common sense and mothers Wit.

Un like those in the house sitting all around Dames including roc wit doc. It is painful to watch them in the house.so I do not. The woman who represents MICAL. just one example may the good Lord help the Bahamas until such time.

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ThisIsOurs 1 month ago

Btw I do believe they should have a fitness test. Armed forces should be the epitome of discipline

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John 1 month ago

4 hours, 12 minutes ago Why pass a fitness test when you can pass your target practice...18 holes in one round!

Funeral tomorrow and still no answers..Cry shame Bahamas!

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