Acting and Looking Sharp and Fit

Keeping Fit.

Time For Police Officers To Have Periodic Fitness Evaluations

The violent murder of George Floyd on May 25, 2020, by members of the Minneapolis Police Department is an example of what can happen when individuals are not fit to be police officers due to violent propensities. 

When I served in the Navy at Camp Lejeune, NC, I became aware of the importance that an organization placed on fitness.  Marines were always seen running to stay in shape in order to pass the Marine Corps fitness requirements.  I remember a very high ranking Marine general speaking to the Medical Corps about being fit.  "We took too many causalities in Korea because we were not fit.  It is your duty to discharge Marines that are not fit regardless of their MOS."

When I returned to Michigan to start my practice of dermatology six years after I graduated medical school there were no requirements placed on the physician in order to renew the medical license.  I had passed the licensing exam the same month I graduated medical school.  That all changed when it was felt that the medical malpractice crisis of the 1970s was partially due to physicians not keeping their medical knowledge current.  Continuing medical education requirements of 150 hours were imposed on physicians in order to renew their medical license every three years.  

Physicians in the past could pass their specialty board exam and be certified by the specialty board for life.  Now the specialty board certificates are time limited, and the physician must meet tough standards known as maintenance of certification that have many hoops to jump through and pass a comprehensive exam in order to renew the specialty certificate.  

Other professions have their own entrance requirements and periodic evaluations.  

In Michigan police officer candidates have certain educational and training requirements.  They are then required to pass the requirements of the Michigan Commission of Law Enforcement Standards (MCOLES).  Certain physical fitness standards must be passed.  The candidates are psychologically  evaluated in order to determine if they are emotionally fit to be police officers according to MCOLES requirements.  People change over time.  After passing the rigorous requirements a Michigan police officer is never again evaluated concerning physical or emotional fitness per MCOLES standards. Under emotional fitness should be violent propensities. 

Citizen complaints against police officers should be filed directly with MCOLES. MCOLES should then handle the complaint and decide if the complaint warrants any action concerning the licensed police officer. The complaint and MCOLES actions concerning the complaint would be part of the officer's permanent file. The rules and stipulations governing complaints to MCOLES would be state statutes and MCOLES rules, and would not be subject to any police union bargaining or individual police department rules. Police departments could get a reference from MCOLES before hiring a licensed police officer. 

Due to the opioid epidemic the Michigan Board of Medicine requires all licensed physicians to take mandated continuing medical education courses about opioids in order to renew their medical license. MCOLES should require police officers to take training concerning racism in order to maintain their license.    

​How many incidents involving police officers are due to unfit police officers?  Actions of unfit police officers can be devastating to individuals and families on the receiving end.  The resulting lawsuits have severe financial repercussions to the governmental unit employing them.

Time For Police Officers To Have Periodic Fitness Evaluations

Like members of other esteemed professional organizations police officers should be required by state law to have periodic evaluations per MCOLES standards and a review of conduct in order to maintain their police officer license.

Ted Golden, M.D.   


Ted Golden, M.D., Best 2024 Candidate 

Michigan House of Representatives, District 55

​Rochester, Rochester Hills, Oakland Township

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