Drug Money Will Be Used By Muskogee Police For Exercise Equipment

Monday, September 25th 2006, 10:09 am
By: News On 6

The Muskogee Police Department is using money seized from drug dealers to get fit for duty.

News on 6 reporter Chris Wright explains how drug money is funding a new gym for Muskogee Police.

Muskogee Police Major Tommy Knight is no stranger to the weight room. He works out at least five times a week, and says fitness is a crucial part of his job. "In our line of work, our life or someone else's life may depend on you being in physical shape.”

All Muskogee Police officers will have the opportunity to get in shape once $16,000 worth of work out equipment arrives.

Approved by the Muskogee city council last week, the new gym will be entirely funded by drug money. "We're taking money normally used in an illegal activity and using it for something positive."

The gym will expand to a room, which at one time housed jail inmates. Muskogee Police say it will be a big upgrade. The department already has some equipment, but says it is outdated, and once the new equipment arrives, they hope that a lot more officers will work out. Muskogee Police training coordinator Sgt. Ty Pickering: "It will be nice to have something new, state of the art to work with."

Sergeant Ty Pickering is in charge of training new Muskogee officers. He stresses the importance of fitness, but claims some members of the force don't work out as much as they should because of costly gym memberships. But now they have no excuses. "You can come in at the end of a shift, any frustration you have you can work it off before you go home to your family.”

Muskogee Police says most of the credit for the new gym should go to the drug dealers. Sgt. Ty Pickering: "I’m glad they're making money for us so we can put it to good use once we do catch them."

With the exception of adding it to the department's budget, Muskogee Police says drug money can be used for pretty much anything, like officer training, salaries, or in this case, dumbbells and treadmills.