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Law enforcement Fitness Challenge results in a ton of losses

By Staff | Apr 10, 2010

Local law enforcement officers were focused on fighting something over the past 12 weeks, but it was not crime.
Members of the Cape Coral Police Department and the Lee County Sheriff’s Office each participated in their own annual Fitness Challenge in an effort to combat those extra pounds. Both running January through April, the events led to a combined total of 2,004 pounds lost between the two agencies.
This was the sixth year that the sheriff’s office has held its challenge.
“It’s to promote better wellness and health for those who protect and serve the public,” said LCSO Sgt. Louis Chiappetta, who has organized every event.
According to Chiappetta, he and other members of the LCSO challenged the CCPD to lose more weight than them in the challenge about three years ago. Since then, the CCPD has been holding its own event. Chiappetta added that his idea was a spinoff of the nationwide event called 911 Fitness Challenge.
“As we all grow older there is a good chance, especially over the holidays, you will gain 10 or 15 pounds (each year),” he said.
Over the years, those pounds can quickly add up. Chiappetta explained that he initiated the challenge to give his co-workers an opportunity to work off that extra weight at the start of each year, before it takes hold and stays.
“So they don’t wake up one day, like I did, and weigh 300 pounds,” he said.
Sgt. Georgeann Lytle, who organized the CCPD’s challenge for the first time, said the agency started out with 52 participants and 13 teams. Forty people and eight teams completed the challenge with the department losing a total of 627 pounds. More men than woman participated, she added.
The LCSO started out with 175 participants, Chiappetta said. Thirty-three teams and 95 people completed the challenge with the agency losing a total of 1,377 pounds. The total was split between 46 males and 49 females.
“They’re always extremely thankful,” he said of the participants. “Losing weight and being healthier is a huge gift, so they’re extremely grateful and they want to continue.”
Top team and individuals honors in the CCPD’s challenge went to:

Overall team
* First place: Sgt. Dave McConnell, Donna Taylor, Alisha Fessel and Officer Dan Fessel with 137 pounds and 35.5 percent body fat
* Second place: Detective Erica Cunningham, Detective Alisha McDonald, Detective Christy Jo Ellis and Detective Kurt Grau with 76 pounds and 29.6 percent body fat
Biggest weight loss
* First place (male): Sgt. Dave McConnell with 78 pounds
* Second place (male): Officer Dan Fessel with 39 pounds
* First place (female): Sgt. Dina Cox with 36 pounds
* Second place (female): Mary Schwartz with 33.5 pounds

Biggest body fat loss
* First place (male): Undercover detective for the Investigative Services Bureau with 16.9 percent
* Second place (male): Officer Dan Fessel with 10.8 percent
* First place (female): Officer Jennifer Bochetti with 13.3 percent
*Second place (female): Detective Trish Enterline with 11.8 percent
The CCPD’s Major Crimes Unit with the Investigative Services Bureau received a special Unit Citation. The unit’s eight participants had a total weight loss of 119.4 pounds — an average of 14.9 pounds per member.
“They were the unit that lost the most weight together,” Lytle said.
Top team and individuals honors in the LCSO’s challenge went to:

Overall team
* First place: Pigs in a Blanket with 108 pounds
* Second place: Financial Meltdown with 89 pounds
* Third place: Extreme Makeover with 86 pounds

Biggest weight loss
* First place (male): Chris Reeves with 41 pounds
* Second place (male): Larry Montgomery with 40 pounds
* Third (male): Mike Cahill with 39 pounds
* First place (female): Evelyn Krzmarzick with 41 pounds
* Second place (female): Carol Follmer with 33 pounds
* Third (female): Tracy Campbell with 32 pounds
Chiappetta is considering recording body fat for the next year’s challenge.
“I think it’s important for everybody to get in the challenge, even if it’s just 10 pounds,” he added. “You’ll feel better and probably live longer because of it.”
The CCPD received weight loss tips and support, including workout advice and nutritional direction, from Rich Kline of Omni Gym.