Pennsylvania Police Officer Ranked Top Ten in National SWAT Physical Fitness Challenge

NEWTOWN SQUARE, Pa. (WPVI) – “What better way to give back to where I live than to protect where I live and serve and try to make it a better place,” said Officer Chris Signore.

Signore, 29, has already been a police officer for a decade. His passion began at a young age and led him to the Newtown Township Police Department in Delaware County, where he has served for three years.

But Signore is no ordinary patroller. He is an instructor on the use of force, teaching fellow officers the art of Jiu-Jitsu as a means of apprehending suspects with less force. He trains frequently alongside other officers, veterans and more at Onyx Combat Sports, a small business that opened earlier this year.

Signore is also a SWAT officer with the Central Delco Tactical Response Team.

“At any time, if there is a very bad situation, we are alerted and we respond wherever that situation is,” he said. “We formulate a good plan and try to execute it.”

With such dangerous work comes extensive training to equip every officer with the tools they need to succeed and survive. The National Tactical Officers Association offers a SWAT physical fitness qualification test to increase mission readiness and reduce injury and use of force.

For the first time, in April 2021, they converted this test into a national challenge for SWAT officers.

“It was an 800-meter sprint, followed by a 400-meter sprint with weights,” said Signore. “Burpees, jump squats and pull-ups. Most were done with a gas mask, no filter, all the equipment.”

Despite the intimidating skill test, Signore was delighted to seize the opportunity. He and other officers prepared on the athletic field at Neumann University. With limited air and only three minutes of breathing between challenges, he simulated a real-world experience on a SWAT team mission.

“Yeah, it’s a bit of a torture session,” he said.

But it was all worth it in the end. Signore was informed that he had placed in the top 10 participants nationwide in the Fitness Qualifying Challenge.

“I wasn’t expecting it. I mean, you know how many police departments there are in the United States,” he said. “We’re not looking for any kind of recognition. We just want to make that difference in our community.”

Signore hopes others will be inspired to become police officers like him.

“If we can get a few more guys in and apply, you know that can make all the difference in such a small community,” he said.

To learn more about the Newtown Township Police Department, visit their website.

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