By Alicia Neaves
State troopers are undergoing some new training through a more rigorous fitness institute. The goal of this DPS Fitness Institute is to make a lifestyle change for participants.
It's not just DPS troopers that partake. Any entity on the city, county and state level can benefit, too.
"From any normal day to day human motor movement, we would love to see enhancements in our health and wellness. That is really the driving force behind all of this," said Lieutenant Greg Davis of the Texas Department of Public Safety.
In 2007, Texas legislature made it official. Five government entities, including DPS, would adopt a physical fitness program that a law enforcement officer must participate in and a physical fitness standard that the officer must meet.
After years of success with fitness and wellness classes, the Texas Department of Public Safety established the DPS Fitness Institute.
"The last 5 1/2 years has really been really, really exciting because it has been going 90 miles an hour. Especially with other agencies now coming on board to adopt the model. We're really proud of that," said Davis.
This six-week academy happens once a year. The first week, they work in the classroom learning anatomy, physiology and nutrition.
"It's designed to enhance nutritional strategies and teach the recruit how to eat, how to fuel the system, how to repair the body with nutrition, which has really been missing in law enforcement implication for many, many, many years," said Davis.
Then for two weeks, physical training begins with a two-week break in between. It includes exercises like push-ups, weight lifting, running, a common fitness evaluation and a VO2 row.
"We're able to test how accurate and how efficient the individual is at utilizing oxygen in a sustained endeavor with both hemispheres of the body working in that endeavor," said Davis about the VO2 row.
Participants must maintain an 80% for academics and they need to improve on their benchmarks physically each year.
After they graduate, each is obligated to a 40-hour Continuing Education Unit.