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Cops 'invest' in healthy living

Published:Thursday | April 15, 2010 | 12:00 AM
Terence Forrester (left) explains the benefits of the Immunogizer to Evelyn Duncan during the Chaplaincy Services Branch Island Special Constabulary Force and Mobile Reserve Health Fair held yesterday at Harman Barracks in Kingston. - Norman Grindley/Chief Photographer

Nadisha Hunter, Gleaner Writer

Hundreds of policemen and women took a break from their daily duties yesterday so they could check up on their fitness during a health fair held at Harman Barracks, Kingston.

The event, dubbed 'Total Wellness: An Investment for Life', was convened by the Chaplaincy Services Branch of the Mobile Reserve and Island Special Constabulary Force (ISCF).

Police personnel swarmed several locations on the compound to receive services, including blood-sugar tests and cholesterol checks, and to attend sessions about issues affecting their health.

The Reverend Courtney Faulknor, assistant force chaplain of the ISCF and Mobile Reserve, said the fair was a way to address health issues affecting members of law enforcement.

"Police officers have a huge tasks and it sometimes affects their living conditions which, in turn, can affect their lives," Faulknor said.

He noted that the stressful tasks associated with police work over years can result in death or severe illness.

Faulknor added that while the issue might not reach crisis proportions, it must be addressed as one death is too many.

Healthy officers, productive force

Faulknor noted that illness caused by workload was the second most-worrying issue affecting personnel within the Jamaica Constabulary Force. Crime is the most troubling concern.

"When the officers are sick, the workforce is affected," he noted. "We have to help the officers to live a healthier life so that they can be effective in carrying out their duties."

Constable André Dixon of the Mobile Reserve said he was enthused about the event, which was designed to help police personnel live a healthier life in carrying out their tasks.

"It is a very good idea to host this event because our duties are stressful, and so this health fair will help us to check up on our lives to know if anything is wrong," Dixon said.

Meanwhile, in giving the keynote address at the opening ceremony of the health fair, medical doctor Anthony Vendryes encouraged the cops to be health conscious by following the four pillars of wellness: proper nutrition, getting adequate exercise, cleansing the body and learning how to deal with stress.