KANSAS CITY, Mo. -- Missouri Governor-elect Eric Greitens broke a sweat Tuesday afternoon in an effort to build relationships with Kansas City police officers.
Two intense 20-minute workouts at the Kansas City Police Academy were part of a day-long, state-wide tour in which Greitens met with law enforcement officials and community supporters in the days leading up to his Jan. 9 inauguration.
His first workout alongside the KCPD tactical team was not for the faint of heart, but Greitens kept up with the best of them – completing a series of burpees, sit-ups and push-ups.
“I thought it was a pretty grueling workout,” said Capt. Daniel Gates. “So he did a great job with it. Everybody was very impressed.”
Of course, Greitens is no stranger to training hard. He’s a combat veteran and former Navy SEAL who served four tours overseas and earned a Bronze Star and Purple Heart.
“We’re going to be supporting our law enforcement officers,” Greitens said. “We need to make sure that all our law enforcement officers, our first responders, our firefighters, that they know that they’ve got a governor who’s got their back.”
Greitens, who made supporting veterans and law enforcement officers a centerpiece of his campaign, said Tuesday’s meeting was the first step to building what he calls a “bedrock of understanding.”
“We want to let these young men and women know that when they join the profession of law enforcement, we honor that choice and we’re going to support them,” he said.
When it comes to reducing crime in Kansas City, Greitens said he’s got a plan.
“I’ve talked with all of our officers here,” he said, “and we’re going to maintain state control over the Kansas City Police Department. That’s because that’s what our officers want.”
Officers who said, politics aside, Tuesday's meet-and-great meant a lot.
“Just the fact that he took the time,” Capt. Gates said, “and I know he’s got a lot going on, inauguration coming up, still meeting with our department and other departments around the state to start building those relationships, I thought that was great.”
Greitens said he also plans to implement a Blue Alert system in Missouri. Similar to an Amber Alert, it would let the public know when an officer is hurt or killed in the line of duty, in hopes they can help police more quickly arrest the suspect.