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Cops, Coping and CrossFit by Ian Wittenber - CrossFit Journal

Cops, Coping and CrossFit

By Ian Wittenber

In Affiliation, HD Videos, LEO/Mil

November 26, 2014

Video Article

In November 2013, the Oregon City Police Department lost an officer in the line of duty. That hadn’t happened in more than 100 years. As the new police chief in the small Oregon community, Jim Brand recognized the need to help the department cope with the loss of Reserve Officer Robert Libke, who was fatally shot after responding to reports of an armed man near a house on fire.

In a rare quiet moment during a stressful day, Brand sat down at his desk and could feel weights dropping in the gym, so he wandered over to observe. What he saw was therapy in action.

“I see all these faces who had just been carrying the weight of the world for the last couple days. … They had just finished some WOD, and I could just see their faces … they were so much better,” Brand says.

The chief tells Greg Amundson, CrossFit’s Law Enforcement Liaison, all the money, time and effort put into CrossFit 1850 was worth it after seeing its effects on members who were dealing with the devastating loss of a colleague.

The affiliate has been active since 2011, and it was created because “the ability for our employees to combat the overwhelming stresses of police work through exercise is paramount,” according to a 2012 press release.

Now, Brand coaches several classes filled with police officers, lawyers and others who work for and with the police department.

“In the law-enforcement world, we deal with a lot of very stressful things,” says member Colleen Gilmartin. “My work is all child abuse, and coming in here and being able to get that all out and in a very friendly and competitive … environment is wonderful.”

Video by Ian Wittenber.

7min 12sec

Additional reading: “Face the Fear: Lessons From Newtown” by Hilary Achauer, published Jan. 25, 2013.

Free Download


2 Comments on “Cops, Coping and CrossFit”


wrote …

Officer Jim Band, not Brand. Jim is a great guy, great to see an article about him and 1850.


wrote …

I would just like to thank CrossFit HQ and Greg Amundson for all the support to our little affiliate. I now have the pleasure and honor of calling Greg a friend. As with every successful CrossFit gym it is a balanced combination of the athletes and coaches. Without great coaches and dedicated athletes there would be no community.

Our Chief, Jim Band, has done an amazing job of making the health and fitness of his employees a priority. He lives the, “lead by example” style of leadership others only talk about, thank you Jim. The Officers and other community members of CrossFit 1850 are role models to law enforcement agencies around the country. I am proud to be a member of the Oregon City Police Department, CrossFit 1850 and the CrossFit community at large. A final thanks to Ian Wittenber for traveling out to Oregon City and telling our story, thanks man.

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