Police union declares the Burpee is corporal punishment.

Glassburg, CT is dealing with a revolt by officers on the SWAT team against their training coordinator. The issue at hand, his overuse of the Burpee in fitness training.


The Burpee

Glassburg SWAT recently went to being a full time SWAT team. The members work a rotation like patrol that allows a minimum of 6 SWAT team members on duty at times of day when SWAT is most likely needed. When not doing a warrant service, or not doing training, the team members do go out in 2 man squad cars to be available for special enforcement duties or to back up general patrol officers on higher risk calls. Members also are scheduled for on-call time, when they have to report for duty at a moments notice when needed.

As part of their shift team members are required to do two hours of fitness training each day. The members on duty divide into smaller groups with each small group given a time period to be be in the department Gym. This two hour window also includes showers.

The SWAT team as a group decided to adopt Crossfit as their physical training routine. Officer Jim Lau was already a certified Crossfit coach so he took on the role as physical training coordinator.

Officer Lau has a mantra, “If one person screws up, the whole team screwed up”. Lau will schedule what the Work out of the Day (WOD in Crossfit terms) will be for a full week. His schedules almost never contain the dreaded Burpee.

If Lau receives word that a team member had a bad score at the shooting range, or made an error on a call, then he adds Burpees to the WODs. “Sweat more today means you are likely to bleed less next week” Lau tells them about their punishment Burpees.

SWAT team members filed a grievance with the union. The union sided with the members declaring the Burpee “corporal punishment”. Department policy prohibits punishing officers via physical means, aka corporal punishments.

No members of the department were willing to go on record citing on-going arbitration over the issue. In the mean time the department gym is now a Burpee free zone.





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