Police Chief Fired For Encouraging Officers To Lose Weight

Filed under: In The News — @ November 3, 2006

Florida police chief’s e-mail asked, “Are You A Jelly Belly?”

Imagine if you received the following e-mail from your supervisor or owner at work that was sent out to the entire company:

“Take a good look at yourself. If you are unfit, do yourself and everyone else a favor. See a professional about a proper diet and a fitness training program, quit smoking, limit alcohol intake and start thinking self-pride, confidence and respectability. And stop making excuses for delaying what you know you should have been doing years ago. We didn’t hire you unfit and we don’t want you working unfit. Don’t mean to offend, this is just straight talk. I owe it to you.”

How would it make you feel? Would you take offense to it or would it spur you into action if you do have a problem with carrying around a few extra pounds?

Well, just ask former Winter Haven, FL Police Chief Paul Goward because he is the author of that now-infamous e-mail. Disgusted by the weight gain that so many of his officers have experienced this year, Goward decided enough was enough on October 11th, so he sent the message to his 80-member team that he desires to see them strive to lose weight and get healthy.

For his efforts, Goward was fired from his job for being too dictatorial and insensitive. OH BROTHER!

This news item reminded me of the story from last year about the doctor who called his patient “fat” because she needed to lose weight. Tensions over that ran high at the time and even garnered me some negative feedback about my agreement with what the doctor had said.

Like the doctor, Goward was merely pointing out a problem that needed to be handled in his role of leadership over the officers. He wasn’t being hateful or mean in his remarks, he was simply getting creative and being honest about his genuine concerns about the health and well-being of those he was in charge over. If someone took the e-mail personally, then perhaps they are being convicted about their need to lose weight–EXACTLY what Goward was hoping would happen!

PEOPLE NEED TO TAKE PERSONAL RESPONSIBILITY FOR THEIR OWN HEALTH! Being overweight isn’t a disease you need a cure for even if doctors are overlooking it. If you need to lose weight, then you need to get serious about it.

Read more about why I believe the actions taken by Chief Goward were completely acceptable and are a refreshing message of hope and inspiration that is sorely lacking in our society these days by clicking here.


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