Officers put their fitness to the test

Officers put their fitness to the test

RAPID CITY, SD (KELO) – Pennington County Sheriff’s Office staff and potential recruits put their fitness to the test today.

The Pennington County Sheriff’s Office requires a physical fitness obstacle course, the department believes this type of training is essential.

“One of the correctional officers told us that on an average day they do about 20,000 steps of work. Part of that has to do with the facility that we run. So they’re actively moving around, they’re not not sitting at a desk or behind a wall,” said training manager Tony Verchio.

The new obstacle course is based on situations that agents might face in real life.

For juvenile corrections officers Irene Medina and Jacob Person, they often find themselves climbing a lot of stairs and patrolling.

“I feel like the stairs help a lot. Especially because we go up and down them every ten minutes to check inmates, so that was really helpful,” said Irene Medina, a juvenile corrections officer.

“I think it was good. The stairs definitely got my heart rate up, but the other things weren’t too difficult. The stairs were the hardest part,” said Jacob Person, a juvenile corrections officer.

Training director Tony Verchio says not only is training important for the job, but also for the mental health of officers.

“We would like to encourage the continued fitness of our correctional staff. We know that in all career areas of first responders there is a lot of stress that accumulates. Physical exercise is one of the ways to help deal with that stress,” Verchio said.

People who participate in physical training have 5 minutes to complete the obstacle course – any longer and they fail this part of the test.

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