PASCO COUNTY, Fla. — The Pasco County Sheriff’s Office is the first law enforcement agency in the nation to have a high-performance health and fitness program for its employees.
"We’re expected to jump over fences to chase people down, to run in somewhere and save somebody," said Pasco County Sheriff Chris Nocco.
And to do that, deputies must be in peak physical shape mentally and physically.
"There is a performance part to what we do and that performance is to save lives," said Nocco.
That’s why the Pasco County Sheriff’s Office is using grant money for its new human performance program dedicated improve lives, from diet and fitness, to mental health and sleep improvement.
"Everyday we have to make critical decisions. We’re in stress situations because every day we’re seeing the worst of the worst of society," said Nocco. Being in the best physical shape and help with making the best mental decisions."
The sheriff's office is partnering with EXOS, a high-performance training company, with goals of reducing job-related injuries, extending the careers and improving the overall quality of life, not only during their career with the sheriff's office but in retirement as well.
The Human Performance Program takes direction from sports performance and military training but is framed in a more law enforcement-driven environment.
The program will eventually staff dietitians, physical therapists, a sports psychologist and strength and conditioning coaches, to better address the specific needs of members.
As an initial phase of this program, the new Resilience Center recently opened, with state-of-the-art gym equipment and additional connections to specific resources and guidance.