Police workouts push limits

Published 11:59 am Wednesday, August 19, 2015

It certainly looks more exhausting than any foot pursuit by police.

Every Monday, Wednesday and Friday, about 10 Vicksburg Police Department employees gather at Warren Central High School’s track for an exhaustive 90 minutes of intense cardio and endurance exercise.

“It makes you feel good knowing you’re in shape,” narcotics investigator Dewayne Smith said.

Email newsletter signup

Sign up for The Vicksburg Post's free newsletters

Check which newsletters you would like to receive
  • Vicksburg News: Sent daily at 5 am
  • Vicksburg Sports: Sent daily at 10 am
  • Vicksburg Living: Sent on 15th of each month

The course consists of running the track and up the steps of both sets of bleachers — though Smith prefers to jump up the bleachers — pushups, jump rope, jumping jacks, and a battle rope exercise.

“It’s not CrossFit, but it’s certainly an approach to CrossFit,” Vicksburg police Capt. Sandra Williams said.

Williams, who is head of the investigations division at VPD, is the driving force behind he workouts and is the groups biggest with her frequent calls of “Let’s go! Let’s go! Let’s go!”

“She’s like the drill sergeant,” investigator Tommy Curtis said.

The group motivation makes for better, more challenging workouts than trying to go at it alone, Smith said.

“It’s just like patrol work. We’ve got each other’s backs,” Smith said

The outdoor workout regimen began in April while police department employees were supporting investigator Ronald Ingram in his training for a marathon. Officers, court services clerks and the municipal judge have joined.

“I invite people to come out all the time and gradually, they start to come,” Williams said.

Municipal Judge Toni Terrett was one of those who joined gradually. Williams said she invited Terrett for months.

“Every time she walked down the hallway, I said ‘hey judge, why don’t you come join us?’’’ Williams said.

At first, Terrett said, the thought of joining a group workout, especially one led by police officers, was overwhelming.

“I think I was intimidated because I hadn’t really worked out like that before. I’m not an athletic person,” Terrett said.

Joining the group has been worth it since private workouts didn’t seem to be paying off, Terrett said.

“They have helped me a lot. Since I started working out with the group, I’ve lost about 20 pounds.”

Tjuana Washington, a crime prevention specialist, was also a latecomer to the group, but she joined after seeing the results others were achieving.

“I needed a change mentally, and I’ve been coming ever since,” she said. “I’ve been really enjoying it. It’s really changed my life.”

Washington said working out has made her more focused and reduced her stress levels.

“It’s gotten to a point where I hate to miss a workout,” she said.

Though the workout is intensive and grueling, it is forgiving to newcomers who are encouraged to do as much as they can.

“We push each other. We motivate each other, and if you can’t do it, walk. Just keep moving. That’s what it’s all about,” Curtis said. “We want you to you to go just a little harder than you can,” Curtis said.