Crime & Courts

Richmond Co. | Columbia Co. | Aiken Co. |

Sheriff's office to implement new fitness policy

Friday, Nov. 29, 2013 11:54 PM
Last updated Saturday, Nov. 30, 2013 1:41 AM
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Richmond County sheriff’s deputies will be breaking a sweat next year, and not just when they’re chasing bad guys.

Beginning Jan. 1, the Sheriff’s Office will implement a new physical fitness testing program, tentatively named The Total Fitness Program, to promote a healthier force.

The program has been in the works since late spring, said Lt. Bill Probus, of the office’s standards and training division. Probus, who helped draft the new policy, said the office has spent the year observing how other law enforcement agencies have implemented similar policies to identify which program would best suit the department.

“What we’re trying to do is to measure and to test anaerobic capacity, aerobic capacity, muscular endurance, stamina and cardio capacity,” he said. “The goal is not to have a bunch of Baywatch guys out there. The idea of this is to have a healthier workforce so that (the deputies) can do their jobs better and safer, and in their off time have a better quality of life.”

Chief Deputy Patrick Clayton said the policy will help to reduce the number of officers seeking worker’s compensation for injuries sustained on the job, while decreasing the risk of heart disease.

“Plus, there’s appearance,” he said. “When the new administration came in, we saw a lot of deputies who were grossly overweight. When you have unfit looking officers, that presents a bad image for the whole agency. We want to instill confidence in the public.”

The program, Clayton said, will test all sworn officers in push-ups, sit-ups, a one-mile run, a 300-meter sprint and a one-rep bench press.

Deputies will be scored on a scale of one to 10 depending on how well they perform each exercise. To pass, a deputy must post a cumulative score of 35 points, or five points in each category.

“We set the standards so that there is one standard for everybody,” Clayton said.

According to the most recent draft of the policy, all sworn officers are expected to complete the one-mile run in less than 12 minutes. The 300-meter run must be finished in less than 80 seconds, and the one-rep bench press must equate to at least 66 percent of the participant’s body weight.

Deputies would be awarded 5 points each for completing 17 push-ups and 22 sit-ups in a minute’s time.

Clayton said the exercises relate to tasks officer might be expected to perform while on the job.

A strong upper body, as tested in the bench press and push-up exercises, will come in handy should an officer find himself in a struggle with a perpetrator, Clayton said. Core strength, which is tested through the sit-up exercise, will reduce back injuries for officers who sit in patrol cars for long periods of time.

The program goes much deeper than the series of physical tests, though.

“We’re going to do nutrition classes,” he said. “We’re going to offer stress management classes. There will also be a voluntary physical fitness program ... We’re really trying to provide opportunities for the officers to use these resources.”

According to the policy, peer fitness counselors will be made available on request for deputies who fail to meet the new requirements.

Those who fail on the first try will have until Jan. 1, 2017, to meet the standards. If the standards aren’t met by then, deputies will be subject to “progressive discipline measures,” including verbal and written reprimands, suspensions, transfer to a non-sworn position or termination.

Employees hired after Jan. 1 must past the test before they are sworn in, Clayton said.

According to the policy, deputies who qualify will be offered pins and ribbons for uniform wear, gift cards, paid time off and improvement awards as incentives.

Probus said that everyone – including the command staff – will be required to take part in the program.

“The sheriff himself will be first in line for testing beginning in 2014,” he said. “He’s not going to require anything of anyone that he won’t do himself.”

Comments (13) Add comment
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griff6035
3941
Points
griff6035 11/30/13 - 02:07 am
9
3
Fitness

Patrick, Will you and Tree be leading the way in this new health requirement. Nether one of you look fit based on what I see in the news.

GiantsAllDay
9279
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GiantsAllDay 11/30/13 - 03:16 am
6
2
How about the 12 donut dash?

How about the 12 donut dash?
Chief wiggums?
http://youtu.be/iwuSGvfN0T4

specsta
6261
Points
specsta 11/30/13 - 03:57 am
5
2
Too Many Doughnuts?

This should be very, very interesting...

just an opinion
2461
Points
just an opinion 11/30/13 - 06:57 am
8
1
Griff6035?

Huh? Roundtree's biceps are bigger than Mike Tyson's and he's lost a ton of weight. Clayton looks and I believe is in good shape. They said they're first in line.

soapy_725
43598
Points
soapy_725 11/30/13 - 08:40 am
1
0
How many sets of standards? Male, female, other, white, black,
Unpublished

old, young, road, desk, jail, motorcycle, batmobile, day, night,

soapy_725
43598
Points
soapy_725 11/30/13 - 08:41 am
1
0
The physical appearance will not change. It is part of the job.
Unpublished

The physical appearance will not change. It is part of the job.

soapy_725
43598
Points
soapy_725 11/30/13 - 08:41 am
1
0
Hours of boredom interrupted by minutes of panic.
Unpublished

Hours of boredom interrupted by minutes of panic.

seenitB4
83988
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seenitB4 11/30/13 - 08:49 am
6
2
Well now

That explains a lot of posts I see on FBOOK..haha

Great idea for all though.....it just might save a life.

Riverman1
81245
Points
Riverman1 11/30/13 - 08:51 am
6
2
I'd bet money on Roundtree if

I'd bet money on Roundtree if all the RCSO employees had a box-off. He's in shape now and I suspect that's why this idea came up.

itsanotherday1
41309
Points
itsanotherday1 11/30/13 - 10:59 am
6
2
Good idea

Those goals are not unreasonable. I've gotten lazy and way out of shape, but at 59 with too many extra lbs., I could meet the requirements with a few months training.

mad consumer
178
Points
mad consumer 11/30/13 - 12:21 pm
6
2
same for all?

As long as there are not two sets of standards this is an excellent idea. As soon as they make it politically correct it won't be. A crook runs just as fast from a woman as a man and also doesn't back off out of politeness. all should be able to hold their own or find a different line of work.

Sweet son
9943
Points
Sweet son 11/30/13 - 12:50 pm
4
1
Grace Period?

There must be a grace period for those who are having difficulty with the test. With some it will take months of training to pass so I say that accomplishing this goal should be required within the first 9 months of 2014. I believe this is fair. And the top cops should be first on the list!

dichotomy
31619
Points
dichotomy 11/30/13 - 01:29 pm
5
2
As long as it is for all.

As long as it is for all. Male, female, black, white, Sheriff to rookie. The tests should be monitored by a Citizens Advisory Board so nobody gets to pencil whip the tests.

TrulyWorried
12889
Points
TrulyWorried 11/30/13 - 04:32 pm
4
1
Good idea

but, listening to the police scanner whenever my time permits and hearing some of our officers running down a criminal - it has amazed me time and time again how they succeed - out of breath, yes and who wouldn't be, running after those speedy scum bags, but they catch them!!! Good luck to those and to all officers from Numero Uno down to the last rookie hired. Thanks for the protection - you do what you can do and give it your best!

jbartley
512
Points
jbartley 12/01/13 - 09:24 am
2
0
good idea

It should be adopted for all county employees, that aren't disabled. It would save lives and taxpayers money! !

willie Lee
411
Points
willie Lee 12/01/13 - 09:46 am
2
5
Why not go further?
Unpublished

To bad they don't have an intelligence test...they would all fail!

InChristLove
22452
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InChristLove 12/01/13 - 03:46 pm
3
0
Willie's comment makes about

Willie's comment makes about as much sense as his 11/29/13 - 06:34 pm statement......and he wants to talk intelligence?

KSL
124688
Points
KSL 12/01/13 - 09:41 pm
2
2
voting

Willy, too bad they don't have an intelligence test for posting, or voting!

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