EAST TEXAS (KTRE) - Starting this month, the Department of Public Safety will collect data on the waistlines of nearly 4,000 state troopers. The data will be recorded during routine physical fitness tests.
State law requires law enforcement to undergo a physical fitness test, but individual agencies can set their own standards, including at the Angelina County Sheriff's Office.
"An officer on the job, it's just common sense to realize that there may be emergency situations or situations where they may be required to do that and they have an obligation, a moral obligation to keep their selves as physically fit as possible.," said Captain Alton Lenderman, ACSO.
For those law enforcement, they never what physical activity they may be required to perform. In order to stay physically fit, most law enforcement agencies offer a workout room, including at ACSO offers, but don't require their deputies to utilize.
"We have a small gym that we provide them, even though it's not mandatory, we give them the opportunity to exercise," Lenderman said. "We have treadmill, some rowing machine, and weightlifting equipment we provide that they can go over there and exercise."
The new obesity and wellness initiative, executed by DPS, will collect the height, weight and waist measurements to calculate a trooper's body mass index.
Those troopers' scoring about 30 will be required to participate in nutrition and fitness education programs.
Meanwhile, Lenderman said agencies can set their customized requirements based on their needs.
"If I require my men to have to run 300 yards in so many seconds, well then I would have to prove, that hey, there's opportunities to run 300 yards in so many seconds." Lenderman said.
DPS said measurements don't change the fitness requirements, which are tiered based on gender and age.