Motorists on state Route 222 this week may have noticed several Sheriff’s deputies running zig zags and jumping over walls in front of the county jail.
The Clermont County Sheriff’s Office held its annual deputy fitness test this week. Sheriff A.J. Rodenberg said he started the program during his first term in office to encourage his deputies to stay in shape and prepare them for their duties.
“We’ve been doing it for about 12 years,” Rodenberg said. “It ensure the deputies have a basic level of physical fitness.”
"Each obstacle is job related as tested through the courts," fitness coordinator Sergeant Gary West said.
Deputies start the course sitting in a cruiser with a seat belt on. They have to bail out of the patrol car, run a zig-zag pattern, jump a fence, jump a low obstacle, jump a high wall, duck under an obstacle, identify a suspect based on a description received before the test, and drag a weighted dummy in under 58 seconds. The deputies receive an incentive bonus for completing the test in under 40 seconds, and additional incentive bonus for completing the test in under 35 seconds.
The basic course was designed by Stanard and Associates, an accredited human resources consulting firm based out of Chicago, and was finalized by West.
Corrections officers are also tested, but West said their test is varied according to their job requirements. He said corrections officers have to sprint the entire length of the jail and drag a dummy to safety to simulate a response to an emergency.
To prepare for the test deputies have an onsite work out room they can access before or after shifts.
West said the test is the only one of its kind among county law enforcement agencies and no other agency has an onsite work out room. He said Sheriff Rodenberg has made deputy fitness a priority.
"He appreciates fitness," West said. "He is very concerned for the well being of his deputies."