Put That Burger Down, Officer

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The people of Hong Kong were recently astonished to be told that the city’s police force has abandoned mandatory annual fitness testing of its officers. The ostensible pretext was a male officer’s accusation that the varying requirements for male and female officers were discriminatory towards men. What a mamma’s boy. But rather than go fight the little wuss at the Equal Opportunities Commission, the force decided that would be better to scrap the tests altogether. Chubby constables in every police station canteen in town are now chortling over their stir-fried noodles and Cokes.
The tests will be replaced—get this—with a “holistic” program of health and leisure activities that awards points to officers for participation in everything from sports to stamp collecting and handicrafts. A force spokesperson said defended the move, saying, “other forms of engagement such as horticulture, voluntary work and cultural pursuits” were just as beneficial as exercise. But as one nameless senior officer who opposes the reform remarked, “How is being a member of a stamp-collecting club or a knitting circle going to prepare you in any way for chasing an armed robber?”
Making the situation even more absurd is the fact that the now abolished test was hardly the stuff of Herculean toil. Officers simply had to run 2.4-km or walk 4.8-kilometre to time, which are things that careworn marketing execs and pallid P.A.s pay good money to do at my local gym every day.
A piece of advice to tourists and citizenry: if you get mugged in a Kowloon back street, don’t bother calling the puffing fatsos in uniform. Give chase yourself.

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