The program is creating opportunities for police officers, to reduce stress, work injuries and be physically and mentally fit for any law enforcement situation that comes their way.
Elite Police FIT (Fitness Incentive Training) focuses on individual officer physical fitness and wellness, tailored specifically for the needs of law enforcement. Incentives highlight individual achievement of six different fitness norms based on age and gender all approved by the prestigious Cooper Institute. The Township reports almost 90 percent of the force volunteering for the program.
Police fitness training programs are surprisingly rare largely due to rules protecting worker’s privacy, particularly when it involves health issues. However, a convergence of local elected leaders, Township management and police union officials in Cranberry created what Township Supervisor Dick Hadley referred to in his kickoff remarks as a “perfect storm of support.”
“This is a unique and innovative program,” he said. “It grew out of the Township’s commitment to a healthy, high quality work environment.”
Hadley noted that the FIT program is another example of “Cranberry’s embrace of private sector partnerships in achieving its goals.” Elite Police FIT is a collaboration among the Township, Cranberry based E.T.H.I.C. Training and Performance Inspired, bringing world class physical training and fitness based nutritional supplements to Cranberry’s police force.
E.T.H.I.C. Training, the name of the fitness business formed this fall by Pittsburgh native and former NFL tight end Darnell Dinkins together with his wife Melyssa, is an acronym for effort, toughness, heart, intensity and commitment. “A lot of companies say they want to build on their core strengths,” Dinkins explained. “Here at E.T.H.I.C., we see it a little differently; our focus is on helping clients build a strong core – both physically and mentally. We are honored to be working with Cranberry’s Public Safety Department and our partners at Performance Inspired on this innovative fitness program. Our goal is to strengthen our community by helping to increase the health and effectiveness of our police officers.”
Performance Inspired’s Tom Dowd, whose company is supporting the program, explained its importance: “Together with my business partners, actor, producer and businessman Mark Wahlberg and Golden State Warriors star and Olympic Gold Medalist Draymond Green, we created Performance Inspired to make high-performance, all-natural nutritional products that help others live a healthy, more active lifestyle while giving back to our communities. For us, Cranberry’s Elite Police FIT program was the perfect vehicle for using our products to benefit this great community.”
In describing the significance of Police Elite FIT, Police Chief Kevin Meyer pointed to the challenges specific to law enforcement officers. “Police work tends to alternate between quietly cruising in a patrol car and launching into a flat-out sprint when an incident occurs,” he said. “The transition is usually immediate, so the demands on your body can be tremendous. Maintaining physical strength and endurance as well as a positive mindset, are critical to effective police work. The Elite Police FIT program is designed to help our officers achieve that level of readiness.”
Other speakers at the kickoff event included Paul Uhler of MSA Safety, Ron Lewis of Westinghouse, and FBI Academy Health and Fitness Instructor, John Van Vorst.