Deputy Curtis Bartlett was a veteran, an elite athlete, and a law enforcement officer who lost his life in the line of duty on March 9, 2017. He advocated that every First Responder should be “fit to serve, fit to protect, fit for life.” Deputy Bartlett believed officers have a solemn responsibility to pursue fitness to serve citizens, help a fellow officer in need, and to increase the odds of making it home to enjoy family and friends. Police Fitness (PF) was founded as a nonprofit to expand upon Curtis’s vision.
According to a recent Presidential Commission on Policing in the 21st Century, a large proportion of officer injuries and deaths are not the result of interaction with criminal offenders, but the outcome of poor physical health due to inferior nutrition, lack of exercise, sleep deprivation, and sometimes substance abuse. PF addresses these critical issues in three ways.
1. The Police Fitness Wellness Program. PF brings together law enforcement agencies with a local health care provider to create a comprehensive health and fitness plan. This is a one-year program that yields measurable results and saves lives. To learn more about this program, watch the following video about an agency that recently partnered with PF.
2. Police Fitness is building out a training facility in Virginia where resources can be developed and shared with our worldwide audience at policefitness.com and on multiple social media sites (currently reaching over 100,000). This facility will be available for First Responders to workout with a certified trainer, free of charge. PF is currently looking for corporate partners to help furnish this building with best-in-class fitness equipment.
3. The final component to our mission is an annual Police Fitness Challenge (www.policefitnesschallenge.com). Officers compete in an obstacle course with a tactical component at a gun range built by Deputy Bartlett. The purpose of this event is to build community and give PF clients an opportunity to test the results of their hard work to be “fit to serve, fit to protect, fit for life.”
An interviewer once asked Curtis why he was so passionate about police fitness. His response encapsulates our mission. He said, “An officer would never go on patrol with a poorly maintained vehicle or a gun that does not fire properly. I don’t even want to leave the station with a malfunctioning flashlight. Sadly, however, too many of us ignore our most valuable weapons – a fit body, a clear mind, emotional stability, and divine purpose.”