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

Troy Butler, former UF football player, said, "Why am I going to waste time on a bust when I can go on my bike twice as fast?"

Gainesville Riders Hope To Start Bike-Sharing Program

Shane Hartley and Troy Butler choose to ride their bikes to work because they know the health and environmental benefits of biking. In order to unite people like them, the Gainesville Citizens for Active Transportation want to start a bike-sharing program.


The finale kicked off shortly before 10 p.m. and for many launched the holiday weekend. (Will England/WUFT News)

Photos: Scenes from Fanfares and Fireworks 2015

The 2015 Fanfares and Fireworks celebration, hosted by the UF College of Journalism and Communications, drew more than 10,000 to the campus July 3.


Photo courtesy of Creative Commons

Unexpected Fireworks Leave Some Veterans On Edge

Veterans who suffer from post-traumatic stress disorder may face obstacles during the holiday weekend. Military With PTSD, a nonprofit organization, has started a campaign to help educate people about the effects of fireworks on people with PTSD.


The confederate soldier statue stands outside of the Alachua County Administration Building. Due to recent controversy in the nation, the monument's downtown location is raising concern for the local community.

Protesters Appeal To City Commission Over Confederate Statue

Protesters seeking to remove the downtown statue of the Confederate soldier spoke to city officials for the first time since the campaign began in late June. This is the first of several efforts that will go on over the next two weeks among protesters who call for the County Commission to take down the statue.


Grace Marketplace Reflects On First Year

Grace Marketplace has served the local homeless community for one year. The community is part of a 10-year plan, conceived in 2005, to end homelessness.


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
Underwriting Payments