Police officers aim to be fit as fiddles

Mitchells Plain police members work out in Eastridge.

Ready, set and go! Mitchell’s Plain police officers are hitting the streets in full force with their new SAPS fitness programme which was rolled-out this month.

According to Mitchell’s Plain station commander Brigadier Cass Goolam, about 400 officers will be part of the programme which is aimed at getting cops physically active and developing a culture of fitness at the station.

Brigadier Goolam said it was compulsory for every officer to be part of the programme.

“This instruction came from national, which is why we are enforcing it at our station. Members are starting off with a walk and then eventually with a run,” he said.

Brigadier Goolam said he had three goals in the programme and was confident that it will pull through.“The short-term goal is to build consciousness around exercise. Also by working out, members are able to engage with each other and with that, strengthen teamwork.

“The medium-term goal is to meet the requirements set by national.

“And, the long-term goal is to get members confident they are able to stand on their own. When they are fit, they are able to move better and know what they are capable of doing, for example, handling a firearm and will know how to protect themselves and the public,” he said.

Brigadier Goolam said officers on the tactical frontline, such as the Crime Prevention Unit, would be training twice a week and those who are office-bound, once a week.

They are required to do about 3km in each session and are timed.

“Our aim is to get members to do 2.4km in 17 minutes. They are timed and are expected to improve. They will be doing this during working hours, in the mornings and afternoons,” he said.

Brigadier Goolam said they have a gym in the pipeline and will soon have experts on board. He added that the sessions are also open to the public.

“We are inviting residents to join as we were part of the community,” he said.