New fitness facility coming to Park Public Safety Department

By: K. Michelle Moran | Grosse Pointe Times | Published October 7, 2021


GROSSE POINTE PARK — The Grosse Pointe Park Public Safety Department is going to be getting a new fitness facility and equipment.

During a meeting Sept. 20 via Zoom, the Park City Council voted unanimously to accept a $50,000 donation from the nonprofit Grosse Pointe Park Foundation to replace the Public Safety Department’s old fitness area and equipment with all-new gear.

“The entire Public Safety Department — we’re humbled by the (foundation’s) generosity,” Deputy Director Jim Bostock said.

He said public safety is a field that requires people to be fit mentally, as well as physically, and proper exercise is crucial for both. The stressful nature of public safety is another reason why regular physical exercise is vital.

Bostock said the equipment they have now is “antiquated,” some of it “doesn’t work anymore,” and worst of all, “some of it is dangerous.”

The current facility has been put together by individual officers pooling their money to purchase different pieces of equipment, he said.

“All of the equipment has been pieced together over the last 20 to 30 years,” Bostock said.

Officials who’ve seen the existing public safety fitness area agree that it’s in need of replacement.

City Councilwoman Darci McConnell said she was “excited about the new fitness facility,” acknowledging that the current one “is pretty ghastly.”

Another benefit, said Bostock, is that the new facility “is going to keep our officers strong and hopefully reduce the risk of injuries.”

“There’s no disagreement here that it’s something our officers need,” City Councilwoman Aimee Rogers Fluitt said.

Several officials, including City Councilwoman Michele Hodges and Mayor Robert Denner, thanked the foundation for the gift.

“I think it’s going to be a terrific facility for public safety,” Denner said.

Once it’s completed, Bostock said, public safety officials believe the new fitness facility will help them to attract new officers. He said they hope to use it as a recruiting tool. With a shortage of workers entering the field, cities across metro Detroit are all competing for a shrinking pool of public safety professionals.

“I know that will be well used and appreciated,” City Councilwoman Lauri Read said.

Bostock said that they hoped to get the new facility installed and operational within roughly a month.

“It’ll be a great asset for our team,” McConnell said.

The Grosse Pointe Park Foundation announced the gift at its annual fundraiser Sept. 11.