Pasco Sheriff rewards staff for staying fit, exercising - WFLA News Channel 8

Pasco Sheriff rewards staff for staying fit, exercising

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Christine Dzikonski is a deputy for the Pasco Co. Sheriff's Office. She lost 60 pounds by reading nutrition labels on food and exercising several times per week. Christine Dzikonski is a deputy for the Pasco Co. Sheriff's Office. She lost 60 pounds by reading nutrition labels on food and exercising several times per week.
LAND O' LAKES, FL (WFLA) -

Pasco County Sheriff Chris Nocco is concerned about the fitness of his staff.

"People expect us to be out there if there is a fight we can handle ourselves and we can protect our citizens."

To meet that expectation, Sheriff Nocco is convincing his employees to become physically fit.

One way is to reward their hard work. If an employee reaches the highest standards on the yearly physical fitness test they earn a day off.

Many of the deputies see the rewards when they look into the mirror.

Christine Dzikonski has been with the Sheriff's office for 23 years. She says finding time to be healthy wasn't always a priority.

"I gained a lot of weight. I became very sluggish. I was not a very happy person."

She started out slowly at first.

"I [would] walk a couple of miles a day and then I started incorporating a little bit of working out into it."

Now fitness is a part of her everyday life.

"Working out is a great relief of stress. We deal with a lot of different things during the day."

And the payoff is remarkable.

"April first, 2011, I weighed 170. I was a size 14. Today I weigh 110 and I'm a size zero."

The staff at the Sheriff's office can also earn points toward gift cards for time spent working out and attending health and fitness classes.

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