HR Strange But True!
October 29, 2002
We all know that HR is never boring. But sometimes it can get downright strange...

Getting between a cop and his doughnut

Hoping to wipe out the stereotype of the big-bellied cop gorging on doughnuts and panting during foot chases, Chicago Mayor Richard M. Daley is offering his city's finest $250 each if they pass a fitness test. So far, more than one-third of the force has signed up to take the challenge, according to the Chicago Sun-Times.

Officer Laurence Odoms, 40, is among those pursuing the bonus. He said he tries to work out three times a week. "It's nice to have the incentive, to be paid to stay in shape," he told the Sun-Times. "A lot of people are out of shape and get hurt because of the rigors of the job."

About 4,500 of the department's 13,500 officers are expected to take the test before Nov. 1, said David Bayless, a police spokesman. Of the 1,300 to complete the test so far, 1,236 passed, he said.

The department has given a voluntary fitness test since 1989, but this was the first year officers were offered a cash bonus.

There's also a monetary incentive for the city to offer the program: Lowering the city's nearly $280 million-a-year health care tab. It's an expense that rises about 10 percent a year, said Bill Abolt, the city's budget director.

"If you drink too much coffee, eat too much sugar and fast food and have a high incidence of diabetes and [high] blood pressure, it not only affects the city employee. It affects their (families),'' Daley told the Chicago Sun-Times editorial board.

"This police force has gone from one of the oldest . . . to one of the youngest - rapidly. At the same time, you have to retrain them and reeducate them. That's what we're doing on this. . . . If we have 100 people who participate, that's better than having zero."

Source: Chicago Sun-Times

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