First Responders Spotlight: Getting recruits ‘fit to fight’

First Responders Spotlight

ROCHESTER, N.Y. (WROC) — When it comes to fighting crime, personal fitness is key to catching the bad guys. Deputy Todd Kenney with the Monroe County Sheriff’s Office has been a physical fitness instructor for the past 15 years, and worked in the recruitment unit for the past two.

He says when he saw a lot of recruits not being ready for the agility tests, he stepped in to make sure those wanting to join the Sheriff’s Office, and those he serves with, are fit to fight. “That’s one of the things I tell them. If this is the job you’re looking for, then physical fitness should be a priority,” says Kenney.

Kenney says the basics start with push ups, a one-minute timed sit up, and a mile and a half run. Physical fitness he says is at the core of being a deputy. 

“It’s tough out there in recruitment anyways so if we can get people up to par as far as that goes, we’ll have a lot more people in the process,” he says.

Commander Janson McNair works with Kenney in the Jail Bureau. He says law enforcement work can mean going from ‘zero to a hundred’ in a second and be taxing on the body. 

“You’re heart rate can go up very quickly and go back down very quickly. So if you’re not in some kind of physical condition or shape, it could really be detrimental to you,” says McNair.

Others say the workouts provide an essential balance between mind and body. “As a stress reliever to be able to exercise and things like that, to be motivated to feel good about yourself. So, it’s a huge thing all the way around,” says Superintendent Matt VanDuzee.

Kenney says it really boils down to: if you’re out of shape, you’re not going to be able to run after the bad guys. The exercises are also good for burning off all the goodies our friends at Dunkin’ gave him as a thank you. “Physical fitness as a deputy is not only going to help the community…also their own health and their partner’s health,” says Kenney.

After Deputy Kenney retires in a few years, he hopes to become a personal trainer at a local gym. 

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