Paunches, a big no-no for traffic cops, says ministry

By Ba Do   October 1, 2020 | 11:42 am GMT+7
The Ministry of Public Security has said traffic police officers should look "healthy and professional" since they work in public and interact with people.

Until now there have been no separate requirements for them, and so their recruitment is based on general criteria for police officers.

But the ministry, identifying the traffic police as "the façade" of the administration that usually meets directly with the public on the streets, said it is necessary to have separate standards to create a favorable image for them, Colonel Do Thanh Binh, deputy head of the ministry’s department of traffic police, said Wednesday.

"These standards will not stop with their health condition, fitness, appearance, or paunch size, but also include exuding professionalism and friendliness in the eyes of both Vietnamese and foreign visitors."

Traffic police in central Thua Thien-Hue Province stop a man violating traffic rules in July 2020. Photo by VnExpress/Vo Thanh.

Traffic police in central Thua Thien-Hue Province stop a man violating traffic rules in July 2020. Photo by VnExpress/Vo Thanh.

The department had said Tuesday it was instructed by the ministry to assess traffic police officers physically to ensure they could serve the public optimally, and take those with large waistlines off the streets and put them instead in offices and positions that suit them better.

It will work with the Ministry of Health and fitness experts to set standards for officers working on the street.

A Hanoi traffic police department spokesperson said the set of standards, once applied nationwide, would enhance the image of traffic police in the public’s eyes.

The department has acted on its own to move officers with paunches from the street to desk jobs, he said.

"Only in emergencies like severe traffic jams or for clearing roads for important events do we send those with large bellies into the streets."

A VnExpress poll that opened on Wednesday found nearly 10,800 readers agreeing that traffic police with paunches should not be on the streets and only 1,100 disagreeing.

The Ministry of Public Security currently requires men and women officers to be at least 1.62 meters and 1.58 meters tall and applies the body mass index (BMI) to calculate their weights, which mean for those heights, men must weigh 53-65 kilos and women 45-55 kilos.

 
 
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