Roanoke City has seen an increase in overall Law Fit scores from the past two years. Citizen complaints have also gone down 44% in the last two years. Leaders believe a healthy body and mind equals a better police officer on the streets.
As the 66th class of Roanoke City Police recruits graduates, they will soon be on the streets with Officer Daniel Olichwier, who was in their place one year ago. He patrols zone three of the city, which is Southwest.
"You always have to expect the unexpected and you always have to be on your toes and you always have to be ready for the unknown," Olichwier says. :The academy and all of the training has prepared us."
Preparation starts and ends with Law Fit Training. During Law Fit Testing, points are given for performance and recruits are encouraged to improve that score, which translates into better strength and endurance.
Officers work 12-hour shifts and they are encouraged to use the gym facilities at the department.
"If you work out on a daily basis and have a good routine, it is good for your mind," Olichwier says. "It is good de-stressor, especially for our job. Our job can be very stressful at times."
As Roanoke Police Chief Chris Perkins praises recruits for their hard work during graduation, the badges they have earned are so close.
The hard work and training never ends. This is only the beginning for class 66.