Sheriff unveils his department’s fitness, training center
Allen County Sheriff David Gladieux formally opened a 6,600-square-foot training and fitness center where it’s hoped the department’s nearly 340 employees will stay fit.
No incentives or requirements will force sheriff’s deputies and other employees to work out on the professional fitness equipment or engage in a round of basketball, but Gladieux hopes the amenities will appeal to them.
“I built it,” Gladieux said Thursday, looking around at the hulking fitness machines, the row of wall-mounted televisions and the shiny gleam off the blue lockers in new locker rooms. “I hope they come.”
Sheriff’s deputies and other employees have been using the 24-hour facility at 7117 Venture Lane on the city’s north side since January, Gladieux said.
The gymnasium underwent a renovation that would have cost about 150,000, Gladieux said. Renovation funds came from the Allen County Jail’s commissary account, he added.
Gladieux said part of the gym will probably be used for training in defensive tactics and possibly classrooms.
The building is part of a complex that housed the Northeast Juvenile Correctional Facility. Just outside the gymnasium, barbed wire coils around a fenced yard separating it from a larger building being retrofitted as the Allen County Work Release Center.
The work release center is scheduled to open in August, according to Nelson Peters, president of the Allen County commissioners, who was there Thursday.
Sweetwater Sound installed state-of-the-art audio and video equipment, which blunted an intense echo produced from the high ceilings, Gladieux said.
Rosema Corp. constructed new locker rooms and bathrooms, flooring and painting, and Summit Brands provided the professional workout equipment, Gladieux said.
“We heard his (Gladieux’s) vision and thought it was a wonderful opportunity for the sheriff and the force,” said Jack Harter of Summit Brands, who attended the event with Phil Marquell, Rosema’s president.
Gladieux called the new facility a “morale booster” for his department.
“Cops don’t feel comfortable working out in front of other people,” Gladieux said.