Fat police promo ban lifted after ‘lockdown made them look like Chief Wiggum’

Fat police officers can be promoted again after the coronavirus pandemic left loads looking like Chief Wiggum from the Simpsons.

Chubby cops were barred from going up the ranks after bosses said they didn't look like a thin blue line in the Philippines.

The force's 220,000 officers were ordered to work out daily after 36% were found to be overweight and one in ten obese.

But the ban on portly promotions has been lifted after scores claimed they couldn't lose weight due to lockdowns shutting key facilities during the pandemic.

Critics of the rules added that it was unpractical and stifled talent.

The Philippine National Police launched the crackdown last January.

Spokesman Police Brigade General Bernard Banac claimed the number of overweight cops was “not too alarming" but they'd have a fat chance at climbing the career ladder if they don't lose the flab.

Saying officers were ordered to submit their Body Mass Index scores to their superiors and he said they should show “some improvement monthly, otherwise their schooling would be affected and then eventually their promotion".

Former police chief Debold Sinas, who publicly acknowledged his own efforts to shed kilos through diet and exercise, made it compulsory for the 220,000 members of the force to exercise daily and submit monthly body mass index (BMI) readings.

Officers seeking to rise up the ranks were blocked if they failed to meet BMI targets, added personnel head Major General Rolando Hinanay.

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But police chief General Guillermo Eleazar, Major General Hinanay called for the rule to be suspended in a memo to his recently appointed boss.

He argued Covid-19 restrictions had made it difficult for officers to work out and lose weight.

"As a result, many personnel were disqualified for promotion," he said.

General Eleazar confirmed to reporters he had approved the request, RTE reports.

Officers are supposed to have a BMI of between 18.5 and 27, depending on their age, to qualify for service.

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Generally a BMI of between 18.5 and 24.9 is considered a "healthy weight", though the system has been criticised for not taking factors such as relative muscle mass into account, which means people with an athletic physique can be categorised as overweight or obese despite having low levels of body fat.

A petition filed by disgruntled officers had argued the policy was "detrimental" and "a form of discrimination to personnel who are above normal BMI".

In the past officers have been sent to training camps or assigned to less desirable posts to shame them into losing weight.

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