WUFT News

Marion County Sheriff’s Department Raises Physical Expectations

By on November 13th, 2013
Deputy Tussey demonstrates a part of Marion County Sheriff's Office's new obstacle course. Each deputy must run the course to assess their individual fitness.

Trevor Sikkema / WUFT News

Deputy Tussey demonstrates a part of Marion County Sheriff's Office's new obstacle course. Each deputy must run the course to assess their individual fitness.

It was anything but desirable conditions for a run Wednesday in Marion County, but despite the cold air and windy conditions, the county’s sheriff department showcased its new combat-ready program.

Three deputies put their physical abilities on display in a half-mile obstacle course as well as hand-to-hand combat.

The physical program, instituted by the Marion County Sheriff’s Office, will make it mandatory for deputies to run an agility obstacle course multiple times per year.

Beginning January 2014, deputies will be required to make the eight-minute time on the obstacle course once every 12 weeks.

Sheriff Chris Blair designed the program to shock the deputies into physical shape.

“You don’t know when that call is going to come where you’re going to perform,” Blair said. “You don’t know when you’re going to wind up in a high-speed chase. You don’t know when you’re going to have to jump out and chase a suspect — could be an armed suspect. So I want them to be prepared.”

Police Maj. Don Maines is in charge of internal affairs and training at the Marion County Sheriff’s Office. He said he saw one of the deputies go to his car after he ran the course and throw away a pack of cigarettes as if to say, “I’m done with these.”

Maines said the end result of this new program is to give deputies a personal check on their shape.

Photo: Trevor Sikkema/WUFT News

“What we’re hoping to do is help every deputy realize what level of fitness or un-fitness each of them individually are in,” he said. “I think what we’re seeing now is a sense of competition between them. So, they’re taking it to heart and they’re starting to assess their own abilities — or lack of abilities — and they’re starting to address them.”

Firearm training, disarmament and driving exercises are all part of what deputies will be tested on during their combat training. Deputy James Amidei said the accountability they gain through competition makes them push even harder.

“Some of the guys, especially some of the SWAT guys, are in competitions and are competing hard against each other,” Amidei said. “Whenever you’re running it with other deputies, you’ve got someone to push you.”


This entry was posted in Local and tagged , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.
 

More Stories in Local

Winford-Jenkins-Trash

Hawthorne Volunteer Trash Collector A Fixture In Community

When a doctor recommended he get more exercise, Hawthorne resident Winford Jenkins, 57, began taking daily walks around the city. After noticing just how much trash cluttered the streets, he decided to do something about it.


Assistant Fire Chief JoAnne Rice inspects an emergency exit sign outside her office at Gainesville Fire Rescue. Proper lighting, signage and open doorways are critical mainstays of a compliant fire inspection.

Majority Of Fire Inspections Don’t Check Out

The newest data on Gainesville’s statGNV shows that over half of all existing buildings in Gainesville received some type of violation. These violations include broken emergency exit signs, incorrect outlet cover plates and untested sprinkler systems.


12 Residents Seek Shelter After Explosion At Southwest Villas Apartment

An explosion at Southwest Villas on Thursday night displaced 12 residents. The cause of the explosion is unknown.


For three months, 35-year-old Sisco Black and his wife have been homeless. When they first came to Grace Marketplace, they relied heavily on the amenities, but now they have become self-sufficient.

Grace Marketplace Completes Homeless Census

The usual sound of birds wasn’t what woke the residents of Grace Marketplace Thursday morning. Grace Marketplace, 2845 NE 39th Ave., held their annual homeless census count on Thursday that lasted from 5:45 a.m. to 9 p.m. The Alachua County Coalition for the […]


Director of Kofi Adu-Brempong Documentary Talks Racism, Police Militarization

“In His Own Home” is a documentary about the police shooting of University of Florida graduate student Kofi Adu-Brempong. The film’s director spoke with WUFT about how the 2010 incident relates to current national issues.


Thank you for your support

WUFT depends on the support of our community — people like you — to help us continue to provide quality programming to North Central Florida.
Become a Sustainer
I want to support FM 89.1/NPR
I want to support Florida's 5/PBS
Donate a Vehicle
Day Sponsorship Payments
Underwriting Payments