Richland County deputies using new facility to get fit

Richland County Sheriff's deputies moved into a new facility for their "Richland 1 CrossFit" program last week, and News 10 Sunrise got an inside look at the training Tuesday morning.

Deputies started "CrossFit" training back in November of 2011 at a facility near Harbison Boulevard. Sheriff Leon Lott says the new facility at the Richland Mall off Forest Drive is more centrally located for deputies from around the county.

On Tuesday, News 10's Mary King trained with Deputy Scott Puckett who is the head trainer for "Richland 1 CrossFit." Deputy Puckett explained how "CrossFit" training not only helps to build endurance and keep deputies healthy, but he says a lot of the training exercises mirror what law enforcement officials have to be prepared for on a day-to-day basis.

Deputies who have been a part of the program since its inception say it's helped them personally and professionally. Deputy Matthew Roberts says he has lost 25 pounds since starting the program in January, and he says it has been a personal confidence booster and team builder for the department.

"In here, everybody's pushing for each other," said Roberts . "If you're in the middle of a set or a rep and you're having trouble, you've got at least three or four people here to push you and to urge you on and to get that last rep and finish hard. Certainly, that transfers out to the street. You know you have people that have your back, and no matter what the outcome you walk away from it together, as a team, as a unit."

Each year deputies also have to take a physical fitness readiness test to maintain their position. Deputy Puckett says many of the"CrossFit" exercises cross over into that physical fitness exam.  According to Deputy Puckett, deputies also have to earn their "Richland 1 CrossFit" T-shirts. Instead of just being given shirt, deputies must complete a specific rigorous workout called the "10-78."

"CrossFit" training is not required for the deputies, but is recommended by the sheriff. There are approximately 650 deputies in Richland County, and officials with the Sheriff's department say close to 80 percent of deputies take advantage of "CrossFit" or another type of workout or training facility provided through the department. Officials say many of the other active deputies have a personal routine they stick to, as well.

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