D.C.

Marion Barry says some MPD officers need to get into better shape

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D.C. Councilman Marion Barry stirred up controversy again after he reportedly said some MPD officers need to get into better shape.

Marion Barry's toy giveaway at Matthews Memorial Church (photos)

Marion Barry's toy giveaway at Matthews Memorial Church (photos) 16 Photos
Marion Barry's toy giveaway at Matthews Memorial Church (photos)

"Get in the gym, go on a diet," Barry said.

The comment comes just as the council is slated to take up legislation dealing with fitness and the force.

Barry says he recently witnessed a police officer huffing and puffing, unable to keep up with a suspect sprinting away from him. The councilman called directly on Police Chief Cathy Lanier to take action.

"Lanier needs to start a rigorous training program for these police officers to get in shape, because these guys will outrun you every time," Barry added.

Lanier fired back. In a statement, she said, "to disparage that officer who puts his life on the line daily to protect our communities is offensive."

But ABC7 found plenty of city residents who think police officers should meet fitness standards. 

Fabien Sarin of D.C. said, "Because they might not be able to save us if there is something that is happening or protect us, and I do believe that they should be fit."

In her response to Barry, Lanier said, "We have standards for applicants...but...no annual requirements for existing members."

However, some agree that when it comes to fighting crime, effectiveness rests more with the individuals who are more driven and dedicated than those on a diet.

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