Monday, April 18, 2011

KCPD emphasizes employee health and wellness

At the Kansas City Police Department, we put a lot of emphasis on the health and wellness of our employees – law enforcement and civilian alike. Good health not only makes everyone more fit for duty but also increases productivity, reduces sick leave usage and decreases insurance costs.

We implemented a wellness program, Shield of Health, in spring 2010 with health fairs around the department. Almost half of the department’s 2,000 members participated and had screenings for height/weight/body fat measurements, a finger stick for blood sugars and cholesterol, and a blood pressure check.

Today, 93 department members are doing their post screenings for the “A Slimmer You” program. Some participants lost more than 25 pounds participating in this 10-week program. Our second annual Walk at Lunch Day will be April 27, and last year we sponsored two 50/100/150-mile challenges, asking our employees log this many miles over a period of weeks. A team of five KCPD members even competed in Ingram’s Fittest Companies Challenge and won the award for one of the most  “Most Improved Teams.” 

Nearly every KCPD station and building has a workout room, much of it with new equipment purchased through the wellness program. Webinars and lunch-and-learns have taught our department members about everything from workstation ergonomics to nutrition optimization. A wellness committee composed of department members plans these events and has several more in store in upcoming months, including another health fair, a kickball league and walking program.

Many department members also participate in CrossFit, an intensive physical fitness and nutrition program. You can even see our daily workouts on our web site. Also, our aerobics program offers department members days off for running or speed-walking a certain distance or completing an obstacle course in a certain time period (times vary by age).

We do all of these things to serve the public in the best way possible. Fit officers can better catch up with bad guys. Lower health insurance premiums save taxpayer dollars. And we do this because we care about our employees and want them to feel as good as they possibly can.

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