ST. LOUIS (KMOX) – St. Louis police officers no longer have to take a yearly physical fitness test. Under their new contract with the city, officers will be awarded bonuses for both taking and passing the test.
The agreement discontinues the mandatory fitness test and replaces it with an optional “Wellness Incentive Test.”
St. Louis Police Officers Association president Joe Steiger says instead of punishing those who fail the test, officers now get paid to take and pass it.
“We think it promotes health and promotes officers wanting to be more fit, because it gives them an opportunity to make a little extra money,” he says.
Officers could decide not to take the test, Steiger says, but with a $500 bonus to take it and another $500 to pass it, he doesn’t think that will happen very often.
“Most the guys work overtime and secondary jobs, and it’s a considerable amount of money and time you wouldn’t have to do working overtime or secondary, by simply staying in shape and being fit and taking and passing the test,” he says.
Steiger says the city understands that its police officers are underpaid and this is one way of trying to make up the difference.
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