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Shaping Up For Time Off

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Owasso Police Officer Tracy Townsend works out five, sometimes six days each week. Owasso Police Officer Tracy Townsend works out five, sometimes six days each week.
Owasso has an incentive that allows extra vacation days for those who meet certain fitness guidelines. Owasso has an incentive that allows extra vacation days for those who meet certain fitness guidelines.
Over the first year of the program, all of the officers who signed up have earned at least some additional time off. Over the first year of the program, all of the officers who signed up have earned at least some additional time off.

Many people have made a New Year's resolution to lose weight and get in shape. News On 6 anchor Craig Day reports police officers in one Green Country town have extra incentive. More time in the gym can mean more time off of work.

Owasso Police Officer Tracy Townsend works out five, sometimes six days each week. The hard work in the gym can pay off, with time off.

"We felt the incentive program was a way to get officers in the gym and start trying to lose some weight," said Owasso Police Officer Tracy Townsend.

That incentive is extra vacation days with eight to 24 hours of additional vacation time. To qualify, officers have to meet standards in five out of nine physical fitness categories. The more points scored, the more time off work. Townsend is one of 14 officers taking part in the voluntary program.

"My physical fitness is more than just something to help me get through my day at work. It's something to keep me alive in my everyday life," said Owasso Police Officer Tracy Townsend.

Police Chief Dan Yancy says the program has been successful in many ways.

"Not only does it help in the fact that they have to deal with suspects. It's a life and death situation in some cases. But, it also keeps them healthier, reduces stress. There are a lot of good things that come with the physical fitness part of it," said Owasso Police Chief Dan Yancy.

"I'm not exhausted as much as I was. I don't suffer from fatigue like I did before," said Owasso Police Officer Tracy Townsend.

Over the first year of the program, all of the officers who signed up have earned at least some additional time off.

"A little more vacation time always helps everybody," said Owasso Police Officer Tracy Townsend.

But, for Townsend, it's more than just extra vacation. It's also about changing bad habits and becoming healthier for the New Year.

Owasso is hiring new officers right now. All of those new hires will be required to meet mandatory fitness guidelines. But, they can still qualify for the vacation time incentive.

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