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Luther Reynolds

luther reynolds

Chief of Police, City of Charleston

                                                                                                                   
@CHARLESTONPD                          @CITYOFCHARLESTONPD                       CHARLESTON-SC.GOV/303/POLICE-DEPARTMENT                        

WHAT IS SOMETHING YOU'D LIKE PEOPLE TO KNOW ABOUT YOU?

My family moved here from Maryland and we have fallen in love with Charleston. We feel very welcomed by the faith community here, having been welcomed into so many churches as we were getting established after the move.

 

WHAT ARE THREE TRAITS THAT DEFINE YOU?

Family, faith and fitness.

I NOTICE THAT YOU'VE GOT A COUPLE OF MEDALS AND PHOTOS OF YOU RUNNING MARATHONS.

For a while I was running marathons because I challenged myself to run 10 marathons in a year. I've run an ultra-marathon (50mi) and as someone who doesn't actually like to run, that was tough. My most recent run was the Cooper River Bridge Run that I did with my neighbor who knew that I had run marathons and was interested in doing the Bridge Run, so we did that together. I've moved on from running and I'm now taking kite surfing lessons.

WHICH HEALTHY TRI-COUNTY/FIND YOUR FIT FOCUS AREA DO YOU MOST IDENTIFY WITH? WHY?

Obesity, Nutrition and Phsyical Activity. I consdier fitness an integral part of my day. I wake up at 530am to get to the gym to make sure that I have made time for my well-being each day. It takes discipline and commitment. What I could definitely do better which is the nutrition side of things. That is one of those aspects of wellness that fall to the wayside in this job, and for most officers, because you often don't have time to sit and eat a meal, and when you do it's usually something quick. Also, this is the South where all of the food is good - I don't think I've had a bad meal since moving here.

speaking of 'most officers', how is the department focusing on nurtition and physical activity?

The City of Charleston really has so many resources for our officers from smoking cessation to nutrition education to free gym memberships. Here at the CPD we take a four-step approach to well-being: Family, Faith, Fitness and Psychology. When I speak to new officers one of the first things I tell them is that they need to set their own personal goals for success in each of those areas as well as professionally. It's so important, especially with the recent epidemic of police suicides, to not only measure success on career accomplishments but to also measure success on your physical and mental well-being which will both carry over into retirement.

We also have a focus on the impact of repetitive injuries, sleep, and spousal support. To consider the sleep our officers are getting, we are considering moving to a more fixed schedule to reduce some of the inconsistency in their work lives. We have started support groups for spouses and families with the various aspects of having a husband or wife as an officer. The schedule, the hazards of the job, and the traumatic events these officers experience are sometimes a shared burden on their families, and the department takes the responsibility or maintaining good mental health for our officers and families seriously.

does the department participate in any internal competitions, or competitions with other departments?

Very often, yes. We recently has a City of Charleston-wide weight loss challenge and the amount everyone lost was really astoundning. The CPD just played the Charleston Fire Department in our annual softball game hosted at The Joe. That's really fun because everyone that comes out for both teams gets to play, it's co-ed. Our families come out and watch, and the kids have a good time.

did you win this year?

No, we lost this year but it was well played. The CFD had a great team and they deserved the win. To us it's all about the fun anyway.

being so engaged in both Charleston and dorchester counties, do you believe that we have any clear opportunities for improving health in our area?

That's a difficult question. I think that with all of the economic and popualation growth Charleston has seen in the past couple of years, there are populations of people getting left behind. Where we really see them struggle is with access to care, to food, to community resources. What affects me the most is seeing the children who don't have safe places to play ball or ride their bikes. That safety is something that we are taking a close look at what the department can do to make an impact in these communities around Charleston. Getting our officers into these areas to let the community know that they are there and they are there to stay.

With regard to the well-being and safety of these children, our department works on a number of community engagement programs including Camp Hope and Pedals4Peanuts. Camp Hop is a youth program the CPD hosts each summer for kids ages 6 to about 12 where they get to participate in all sorts of fun activities. One week they got to go out on a boat and they loved it. What's important about Camp Hope too is that so many of these children do not have access to three meals a day, and we make sure that when they are with us that they get something.

Pedals4Peanuts is a local non-profit whose mission is to provide children from deserving families with a bike. Their focus is on the Tri-County and we have worked closely with them assembling bikes, attending the bike rodeos and other events, and giving out bikes as part of our community engagement.

 Have comments about our conversation with Chief Reynolds? Engage with us on social media using #FindYourFitHTC

 

Find Your Fit is an interactive, community-driven lifestyle campaign designed to improve the health and well-being of you and the people you hold dear. Healthy Tri-County – a regional initiative to improve health and wellbeing in Berkeley, Charleston and Dorchester counties – wants to give you the resources to make an impact in an area of health that is important to you, whether that’s eating healthier or making sure that your family has access to all of the health services they need.

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