Update: The Detroit Police Department Kicks Off Its Own Version of the DMC “Health Challenge!”

It was a thrilling moment, to say the least.

There was the Chief of the Detroit Police Department – the highly regarded and hardworking James E. Craig – standing in front of a microphone at police headquarters on Third Street and telling the world:

“I have a sound bite for you: Let’s handcuff obesity!”

It happened on Tuesday afternoon (Dec. 8) in the heart of the Motor City . . . as the 1,600-member DPD kicked off a year-long health partnership with the Detroit Medical Center.

Inspired by the DMC’s own ongoing “61 Day Health Challenge” (our third annual holiday-season campaign to eat better and get more exercise), the DPD on Tuesday launched an ambitious, year-long nutrition and exercise program aimed at helping its police officers and support staff to get in better shape . . . in order to do an even better job of protecting the citizens of this great city.

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While dozens of enthusiastic police officers and DPD support staffers were being screened by DMC clinicians for weight, blood sugar, cholesterol and other health risk factors, I wandered around the Michigan Room at DPD headquarters and talked to lots of people who were very interested in helping Detroit’s Finest to do a better job of serving the public better by improving their own health.

Among the most vocal of the cheerleaders was Chief DMC Administrative Officer Conrad L. Mallet, Jr., the former Michigan Supreme Court Justice, who told the applauding throng: “This is a very exciting day for all of us.  Today is part of pushing [the DMC] hospitals out into the community . . . and what the Detroit Police Department is doing is a wonderful example of how community organizations can partner to improve public health.”

The beaming police chief said he couldn’t agree more and then went on to outline the upcoming yearlong DPD health campaign.  The first step, he said, will be a “90-Day Weight Loss Challenge” in which police officers and staff will work with the DMC to shed extra pounds and improve cardiovascular fitness.

Chief Craig presents Dr Eadie with his Certificate of Appointment as a specialist reserve of the DPD

The second step in the program calls for DPD precincts and bureaus to form competing teams that will vie with each other to see which can lose the most weight and most improve their fitness levels during calendar 2016.

During the same period, meanwhile, the DMC will assign a skilled “life-stress” clinician to the DPD to help officers cope with the psychological and emotional rigors that often accompany police work.

Describing the benefits he hopes will flow to his officers and staff, the chief was quick to point out that “studies have shown that an officer who’s physically fit will have a [higher] level of confidence and will be able to resolve [law-enforcement] situations . . . often without the necessity of having to use force.

“It’s clear that an officer who’s fit interacts with the public differently – and fitness and wellness also have a direct effect on reducing stress in police officers.”

It was an afternoon to remember, for sure.  When my own turn came to step up to the microphone, I told the participants how pleased the DMC was to be joining the DPD in a “Health Challenge” designed to help everybody in southeast Michigan.

Our own 61 Day Health Challenge (motto: “Less sugar, more steps, eat more fruit!”) will run through January 1, and the results so far have certainly been encouraging – with hundreds and hundreds of Michiganders reportedly keeping their “Pledge” to cut back on junk foods and exercise more during the holiday season.

Make no mistake: this is a very exciting time for public health throughout the Detroit area.  As the high-spirited gathering in the Michigan Room at the DPD began to break up, I was delighted to hear the chief telling a reporter: “To accomplish our mission, we have to work with our partners throughout the city – and the DMC is a very significant partner in that effort.

“Working effectively with our partners makes very good sense to me!”

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[To learn more about the Challenge and how you can take part, just click on www.dmc.org/61days.]

 

DMC 61 Day Health Challenge Welcomes A New Partner: 1,600 of Detroit’s Finest

Welcome aboard, Detroit Police Department!

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If you’ve been keeping tabs on this year’s DMC 61 Day Health Challenge, you probably know that we just reached the halfway mark.

As of December first, I’m happy to say, the 2015 version of the annual DMC campaign to cut back on sugar and other unhealthy foods – while also exercising more and eating more fruit – is 50 percent of the way to its ultimate destination, New Year’s Day, 2016.

That’s exciting news, for sure.

But what you may not know yet about the ongoing Challenge is that we recently added a terrific new partner – the entire City of Detroit police force.

Some background, first: as you may recall, one of the most dynamic speakers at the huge “Kickoff Event” that launched this year’s DMC 61 Day Challenge (back on Oct. 30) was the hard-charging Detroit Police Chief, James Craig . . .  who told a cheering audience at the Detroit Medical Center that he was determined to help the approximately 1,600 police officers under his command to become more physically fit.

As the chief enthusiastically pointed out, maintaining a high level of physical fitness is essential for police officers who want to serve the public well.

And the two keys to accomplishing that important goal are avoiding the fat-triggering “empty calories” that can be found in such dietary villains as soda pop, candy, snack cookies and fried foods . . . while also getting plenty of healthy exercise

Well, I’m happy to report to you that Chief Craig meant what he said about trying to assist his police officers with the important task of becoming more fit.

No sooner had he returned to downtown Detroit Police Headquarters, in fact, than he began organizing a massive new effort to help DPD officers and support staff alike start eating healthier foods and increasing the amount of exercise they get each day.

The chief’s new fitness plan is exciting to contemplate – and it’s now about to start bearing fruit.

As of next Tuesday (December 8), the DPD will be partnering with the DMC in a year-long program designed to improve the physical fitness of the hard-working police officers and staff who protect us each day.

To that end, the new DPD-DMC health partnership will launch a special “90 Day Fit Challenge” Kickoff Event on the afternoon of December 8 (from 2-6 p.m.) in the Michigan Room of the Detroit Police Headquarters at 1031 3rd Street.

During that event, DMC staff will screen hundreds of police officers and support staff for weight, cholesterol, diabetes, BMI, vision and other health risk factors.

And here’s some more good news: as the new partnership gears up during the next few weeks, DPD staff will form teams that will compete with each other all year long to see which precinct can become the healthiest.

Sounds quite promising and hopeful, don’t you think?

You can bet that I’ll be in attendance at Police HQ for the Kickoff . . . and that I’ll be eager to “spread the gospel” of this this year’s DMC 61 Day Health Challenge: “Less sugar, more steps, eat more fruit!”

For more information about the DPD “Fit Challenge” Kickoff Event (which will be open to news media reporters and photographers) contact Arielle Berlin at ABerlin@dmc.org.

And please watch this space next week . . . when I’ll be back to give you a full update on the DPD Fit Challenge Kickoff and what took place!