STARKVILLE and ABERDEEN, Miss. (WCBI) – Assault on a police officer is a very serious crime.
It’s also a danger that officers have to face and deal with on the job.
Every shift is different for law enforcement, so they have to be prepared for anything and staying in shape is one way to do that.
Fitness is not only important in the Police Academy, but also years after officers have worn the badge.
For law enforcement officers fitness starts at the Police Academy.
Before an officer can get their badge, endurance has to be proven.
Mississippi Highway Patrol Sgt. Derrick Beckom proved his 15 years ago.
He still remains in that same shape today.
“We want to, like I said, try and stay in some type of shape throughout our career to hopefully deter the violator from even, you know, thinking about assaulting us. We have this mindset of doing anything necessary that we have to do to make it home after the end of our shift.”
Since every shift is different, officers have to be ready to not only protect the public, but also themselves.
“We try to stay at least 50% in shape, if not 100% because it saves lives. You can’t pull guns on everybody, you know, because you’re fixing to get into a lawsuit, so basically, you want to defend yourself and like I said, your back up should be about two or three minutes away, but just in case if it jumps off right then, you need to be able to handle yourself on the street,” says Aberdeen Police Chief Henry Randle.
“Going to the gym, you know, whether it’s training on the weights, or on the treadmill, or just out exercising, running in the neighborhood. It’s just some type of way to give us an upper-hand on making the shift a little bit better.”
Randle not only serves and protects his community, but also his country.
He has double the encouragement to stay in shape.
“Military and law enforcement go hand-in-hand. Same procedures, running, lifting weights, doing drills, making sure that you’re trained up for the job that you’ve got to do. Most of our guys here and most of the guys that work here, most of them are Military.”
Officers come in all shapes and sizes, which is why Beckom says you should never judge a book by its cover.
“Some guys may not necessarily look as muscular as others or what have you, but still they take a lot of classes, do defensive tactics and other measures to take care of themselves out there when they’re on duty, so don’t take it for granted just because one guy doesn’t look the way the other guy does, he’s prepared.”
The Mississippi Highway Patrol has a Law Fit Team, made up of troopers from across the state, who take part in fitness competitions.
The team has won several championships over the past few years.