Kewaunee Co. Sheriff's Department implements fitness program to avoid injuries

KEWAUNEE CO., Wis. (WBAY) -- A fitness craze sweeping the nation, with Fitbits on nearly everyone's wrists these days. That doesn't exclude law enforcement, whose job often depends on their physical stamina.

The Kewaunee County Sheriff's Department started to see problems, when officers were pushing themselves from a stationary position, to full physical exertion.

"We did see that," says Kewaunee County Sheriff Matt Joski. "Where people who maybe had not previously done any running or physical exertion, and then for the purpose of training decided to break into a sprint ... that can cause issues."

That's why the Kewaunee County Sheriff's Department has implemented a fitness program, aimed to keep everyone on the force in shape.

"Basically what we needed to do, is just get people up off the couch," says Sheriff's Assistant Angie Mueller. "Let's just get people moving, because that's where it's all going to start."

The department coverted a former clock manufacturing company into their evidence building, that now houses a 24-hour training facility for their staff, that many are taking advantage of.

"Making this available has really caused several individuals to step up and workout, that they normally probably weren't," says Deputy Jamie Tlachac, of the Kewaunee County Sheriff's Department.

Now, majority of the department uses the Fitbit program, that helps them work toward the fitness goals. Sometimes it can get competitive.

"As you can imagine, in law enforcement, we do tend to be somewhat competitive," says Sheriff Joski. "So it really brought that out of everybody."

But it's all in good fun, a way to keep morale up, while staying healthy.

"Physical wellness is a huge part of overall officer wellness," Sheriff Joski says. "We do want to use this as a starting point, maybe branching out to mental wellness, spiritual wellness, financial wellness."