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Cincinnati Police start fitness program; Chief challenges Sheriff Leis


***UPDATE: Sheriff Leis says he is not interested in the challenge***  

The Cincinnati Police Department begins a fitness program next week and bragging rights are on the line.  Officers who pass could potentially earn an extra star on their uniform.

Police Chief James Craig says a fit cop is a happy cop. He's announcing a pilot program with the fittest members of the department. Sgt. Ron Hale explains how to pass the test.

"Well, for myself, I fall in the 40-49 category. I'm 44. I would have to do in 1 minute 39 sit-ups, 30 push-ups, a mile and a half run in 11 minutes and 9 seconds or a 300 meter sprint in 56 seconds."

In January the voluntary program opens up to all members of the department. WVXU asked Chief Craig if he felt pressure to keep up with the Sheriff's Department, perceived by some to have higher fitness standards. Craig then issued a challenge to Sheriff Simon Leis.

"I'm pound for pound the strongest police chief probably in the state, so I take the sheriff on. I challenge him. So, if he can bench press his body weight I'd be shocked but I don't want to be responsible for the outcome but this is a challenge to him on his retirement day."

No word yet on whether Leis will take Craig up on this fitness showdown.

Ann Thompson has decades of journalism experience in the Greater Cincinnati market and brings a wealth of knowledge and expertise to her reporting.