The stereotype of a couple squad cars sitting at the coffee shop may have to be retired in Allen County. It’s just as likely those cars might be at the gym.
Congratulations to the Allen County Sheriff’s Office and Sheriff Matt Treglia for emphasizing the importance of physical fitness with his deputies. We’re proud to see them swapping doughnuts for dumbbells.
“One new key point of emphasis that our administration has elected to make unconditionally mandatory is physical health and fitness for duty,” said Sgt. Andre McConnahea, the public information officer, via e-mail.
On Monday, the department offered a fitness examination at the track at the Elida schools. People who wanted to become deputies had to run a mile and a half in less than 11 minutes, 38 seconds, or roughly an 8-minute mile.
They also had to do 40 sit-ups in a minute. They had to complete 33 push-ups in a minute.
Anyone who completes those tasks, along with meeting all the other criteria to serve in law enforcement, will be considered for one of the department’s open positions.
It’s a positive step for Sheriff Treglia and his department. It’s important to recognize the physical demands of the job and use it as a hiring criteria.
In other lines of work, candidates might have to prove they’re able to lift 50-pound boxes without limitations. Other businesses may require you to stand on your feet all day. Still others might require great vision.
It only makes sense that a possible deputy can prove he could chase a criminal through the woods if he tried to escape by foot.
“I really believe that you have to be physically fit to do this job. You may encounter somebody by yourself at a distant location that you have to basically survive and fight for your life for a matter of minutes before backup arrives,” Treglia said Monday.
Existing officers aren’t being asked to meet these new requirements yet, but we encourage them to do what’s needed to attain them. A healthy police force can really help the community.
The administration is investing in its existing people too.
“Last month we spent approximately $1,000 upgrading aesthetics and equipment in our workout room, hoping to encourage greater participation in department fitness goals,” McConnahea said.
The department introduced the tougher standards to candidates for its SWAT team too. Five current deputies competed for two open positions on the team Monday.
It’s all a step in the right department for the sheriff’s office. Officers’ mortality has to be in officers’ minds in light of the untimely deaths of interim Allen County Sheriff Jim Everett in February and of Putnam County Sheriff Michael Chandler last January.
We’re anxious to see these healthy tactics pay off for the taxpayer-funded department in terms of less missed time and fewer medical expenses, two financial rewards of a healthier workforce.