The community was saddened to hear of the March 9, 2017, passing of Curtis Bartlett, also known to the community by his social media handle, "police_fitness." During his time in the Army, and as a deputy sheriff in Carroll County, Virginia, Bartlett was dedicated to saving and improving other people's lives. He died in the line of duty, pursuing a suspected criminal.

Bartlett, 32, began his fitness journey during recovery from a knee injury while in the military. An Army veteran who served in Iraq, Bartlett carried his military-inspired training into his life after the service as a member of the Carroll County Sheriff's Office.

"You never knew [in the military] when your buddy or some innocent person who needs help may depend on you being able to carry them or get to them," Bartlett said recently in a profile interview with "So to me, being in shape and maintaining a certain level of fitness is expected in my career." 

As a measure of his compassion, Bartlett shaved his head while in Iraq in support of a young boy battling acute lymphoblastic leukemia, and organized a flag to be flown over the U.S. Embassy in Baghdad in the boy's honor. When Bartlett returned to the U.S., he presented the flag to the boy.

After leaving the Army, Bartlett joined the Carroll County Sheriff's Office in 2013. In the few short years he served as a deputy, he made many deep impressions on the local community. He also served as an inspiration for those trying to improve their physical condition. One local resident noted that Bartlett personally helped him lose 100 pounds in eight months.

In February 2017, Bartlett was one of three advanced lifters featured in's "Triple Threat: 4-Week Fitness Plan." Bartlett was joined by fellow RSP-sponsored athletes Hannah Eden and Kieon Dorsey to present a challenging, diverse program that guided participants to simultaneously improve their muscle mass, strength, and conditioning. Last September, he also invited us into his awesome home gym to show us his "Perfect Back Attack" workout. In everything he did with us, he was generous with his time and spirit, eager to reach people worldwide, and just as eager to help them.

Bartlett was also founder of Police Fitness, an online and social media resource for lifters, CrossFit athletes, and people interested in improving their physical conditioning. His training was diverse and intense, but as anyone who followed him on social media knows, he was also wholly committed to his career as a public servant.

"Having become a CrossFit level 1 trainer," said Carroll County Sheriff John B. Gardner, "Curtis was recognized for his commitment to health, nutrition, and fitness, and strived to motivate others within our sheriff's office and other agencies to work toward healthier lifestyles."

As Eden wrote last week, "This guy [Bartlett] had way too much to give, and I am crushed inside that he was taken from us too soon. Curtis, you served this country in more ways than one."

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Contributing Writer’s authors consist of accredited coaches, doctors, dietitians and athletes across the world.

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