Sheriff’s Department fitness center opens

Published 6:00 pm Tuesday, November 1, 2022

Lafayette County Sheriff Joey East officially opened the sheriff department’s new fitness center last week with 18 pieces of gym equipment funded by Nicholas Air. The fitness center will be open 24/7 for law enforcement to be able to work out together. 

The fitness center is adjacent to the sheriff’s department and detention center on Jackson Avenue in space formerly occupied by DHS. East asked permission from the supervisors to turn it into a gym facility for fitness until their new building is built.

“Nicholas Air has been a pioneer in helping us with our dreams and our vision to take care of our people. We want to take care of them so that they can take care of the community,” East said.  “We’ve used it every day. (The employees) have key access and can come work out when they are off duty.” 

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 “There are a lot of ways that you can support the community and a lot of times you don’t exactly see what those dollars go toward,” said Peder von Harten, president of Nicholas Air. “I think it’s the most visible thing that we could have done.”

Von Harten also said that the Nicholas Air donation is a template that others in the community can follow to get involved to support law enforcement.  

Major Allan Wilburn with the sheriff’s office worked with Wilder Equipment on the equipment for the fitness facility. The equipment was manufactured in Pontotoc at Wilder Equipment. 

This is just a beginning for the fitness facility that East envisions. There is room in the current space to expand to add treadmills for cardio and a locker room with showers. East said he hopes eventually to make the facility available to nearby state and federal law enforcement officers and county employees. 

The fitness center is part of an ongoing wellness program East has introduced that also includes a wellness app for psychological needs.  “We talk about health and fitness. We are going to do a lot of things because we are really concerned about their health,” he said.

“I’ve been in this 31 years. I’ve seen a lot of guys, when they retire, they die. They have health issues and didn’t take care of themselves. So, we’re trying to treat the new generation differently, trying to keep them healthy.