The Battle of the Badges has begun in Bangor and area police department employees might lose a bulge or two in the process.
As the pounds fall off department employees, donations to the Maine Law Enforcement Memorial Fund will increase.
The Battle of the Badges was engineered by Weight Watchers of Maine. Law enforcement employees from Bangor, Orono and the Penobscot County Sheriff’s Department agreed to participate.
Employees volunteered for the eight-week program and will try to achieve a specific health goal. Employees pay an initial fee of $60 and then collect “pledges per pound,” from friends and family.
All of the money collected, including the initial fee, will be donated to the Maine Law Enforcement Memorial Fund.
The battle began on Tuesday, April 17, at the Bangor police station. So far, about 20 people are participating in the program. Bangor police Capt. Joseph Ferland said it was not too late for other area departments to join in.
The program promotes health and fitness and benefits the MLEM at the same time, said Ferland.
Participants in the Bangor area program include police chiefs, police captains, detectives, dispatchers and secretaries.
At the end of the eight-week period the team that loses the most weight will receive a trophy.
“It’s great because it gives us incentive to trim down and it benefits a good cause at the same time,” said Ferland.
Each Tuesday officials from Weight Watchers will be in Bangor to weigh each participant and offer weekly “At Work” health programs.