The South Bend Police Department (Indiana) has been taking huge strides in the physical fitness arena.
I've been in fairly regular contact with SGT Doug Bagarus (blue jeans) over the last year. He just left SWAT in 2009 after a 26-yr assignment to the team! He's been pushing for a more structured fitness program at the PD since the mid-1980's. He believes that functional lifting and bodyweight workouts (such as CrossFit) add to the overall health and safety of Police Officers....and that these programs will be the norm in ten years. Here's an excerpt from one of his emails:
- The equipment that you see is pretty much everything we need to get Crossfit WOD's in, short of rowers. If you will notice the pullup bars (these are similar to what is offered commercially), they were donated (material, labor, and delivery) through Lock Joint Tube, a local steel supplier and fabricator. I obtained these as my first piece of equipment, knowing it would help put some pressure on the administration in regards to getting functional lifting at the department. Our Police Chief is "pro fitness" and it was not too hard to sell the concept. As soon as he allowed me to have the room, I hit the ground running and obtained more equipment. I purchased some of the equipment myself, but was reimbursed without a problem. I am working on getting 3 rowers, and we should be set. The kettlebell and wallball inventory will hopefully grow in the short term. I am currently working on my club affiliation application to Crossfit and have a contract in-hand. When we obtain the affiliate status, I'll schedule an orientation and demo for the department, with further plans of 1 or 2 classes per day. The class situation will of course depend on my job situation in ******* [assignment]. I would like to add a TV monitor in the room so those wishing to do P90X can do so too. I won't discriminate, just want everyone to WO and get fit. Your Prison Workouts are also in the room in our reference material for those wishing to do so.
As Doug writes above, there has been some serious buy-in there. Read this testimonial from one of their Police Officers. It's a tale told time and time again:
- I stumbled across Crossfit nearly two years ago while doing research for P90X. When I first went to the website it was somewhat confusing and intimidating. I dabbled in some of the workouts but wasn't consistent. I soon found myself watching tons of the free demonstration videos and workouts. Coach Glassman's candor and flat out "this is the way it is" attitude about his system also helped to convince me that Crossfit is the most effective GPP program in existence. I could listen to him talk for hours. Helping matters were studies done by the Canadian military and now our own USMC, Special Forces, and Army integrating Crossfit (by name) workouts into their military readiness programs. I'm sold. Not to mention the workouts really kick your a$$. In my opinion and many others' opinions, Crossfit has the ability to keep police officers in "my life is on the line" shape and to allow them to match and beat their adversaries on the streets. -- CPL Kelly Waite #2091, SBPD
The SBPD serves as an example of what is needed in all LE agencies: a committed department head, a motivated trainer, and officers who recognize that physical fitness and health is an important aspect of this lifestyle and career.
Best wishes to Chief Darryl Boykins, SGT Doug Bagarus, and the rest of the 260 Police Officers at SBPD!! Thanks for taking the time to share your story with us.