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

Retired Marine Cary Hill, unit commander of the Milton Lewis Young Marines, said "Freedom isn't free" during Memorial Day ceremonies at Forest Meadows Cemetery in Gainesville, Fla. Monday, May, 26, 2015.

Young Marines Honor Veterans On Memorial Day

Milton Lewis Young Marines honor veterans during Memorial Day ceremonies at Forest Meadows Cemetery in Gainesville. Mayor Ed Braddy and Alachua County Sheriff Sadie Darnell were among the group that dedicated their speeches to veterans.


Roller Derby

Rolling to Recovery: Tattooed and Bruised

Camille Loose is a 30-year-old recovering methadone addict who may be better known to some by her roller derby name, Jane Dough. Loose turned to the sport to help overcome her past issues.


Park visitors enjoy a day in the crystal clear waters at Ichetucknee Springs State Park. Guests can enjoy tubing from the north entrance beginning Memorial Day Weekend.

Ichetucknee Springs Reopens Entrance for Memorial Day

Ichetucknee Springs is reopening the northern entrance of the park for Memorial Day weekend. 4,000 are expected to be in attendance during the three-day weekend.


Deputy County Manager Betty Baker speaks to the Gainesville City Commission on the need for regulations at the homeless camp Dignity Village. Thursday, commissioners approved to spend up to $50,000 to secure an emergency contract with a non-profit provider.

City Commission Grants Gainesville Management Of Dignity Village

Gainesville City Commission passes a motion for the management of Dignity Village. The motion begins the process of addressing safety issues and concerns regarding the logistics of the community.


Gina Eaton (left), a 34-year-old graduate student at UF, and Heather Petroccia, a 26-year-old Ph.D. student at UF, clean out buckets to prepare them to mix grout for the tiles.

Habitat For Humanity Build Programs Empower Women

National Women Build Week was May 2-10. Alachua Habitat for Humanity Women Build participated in the weeklong event.


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