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Officers May Be Required to Workout

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A unique policy aimed at keeping Roseville Police officers in top physical condition could start becoming the norm statewide in the wake of proposed legislation before the California Assembly.

AB 2183, proposed by Assemblyman Todd Spitzer, R-Orange, would set aside $10 million for the creation of a new voluntary fitness program aimed at shaping up California's 75,000 peace officers.

Spitzer, a former reserve officer with the Los Angeles Police Department, said the cost of the program would be offset by the millions of dollars saved in medical costs and disability payments for injured and out-of-shape officers.

For Roseville Police officers, physical fitness isn't just recommended, it's a required part of an officer's day. Each officer must spend an hour in the department gym before each shift.

"We're trying to break that typical stereotype of the donut shop image here," Roseville Police Chief Joel Neves said.

And most officers don't seem to mind keeping in shape as part of their daily duties.

"We have some officers here that are 50 years old running a five-minute mile," Lt. Mike Allison said. "They're in just phenomenal shape. It is a culture that is expected now."

Neves said the mandatory workouts also attract top-notch recruits to the Roseville force. "We can truly take the best of the best and bring them to Roseville," Neves said. "It's not just the fitness level. It's the overall work ethic of the employees."

However, critics contend putting taxpayer dollars toward keeping officers fit isn't money well spent.

"This is an extraordinary rip-off of taxpayers," Jon Coupal with the Howard Jarvis Taxpayers Association said. "I think police officers also need a good night's sleep, but does that mean taxpayers should be paying for their beds? I don't think so."

AB 2183 passed its first vote in the Committee on Public Safety earlier this month and has been passed to the Assembly Appropriations Committee.

(This story was provided by News10 KXTV Sacramento.)

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