APD Officers Bring Home Gold Medals

Police officers from around Texas compete against each other in Olympic-style events for medals.

Two Arlington police officer came home with a wealth of medals from the Annual Texas Police Athletics Federal Games in Austin last month.

"When I found out they had track and field and thought, 'OK, I think I need to get in shape for that,'" Officer Barry Samples said.

A former college track athlete, Samples, 51, took a 26-year break from the track before lacing up again at age 48.

"I'm thinking, 'OK, old man's still got a little juice left in the tank,' so that was really encouraging and that inspired me," he said.

Samples has won 10 medals. Of the 10, he has brought home six gold medals, which he's quick to tell fellow officers about.

"I tell them, 'This is what the old man brought home -- I brought some gold home,'" he said.

Officer Jimmy Solinas, who has 14 medals, has been a regular at the police games since 1987.

"Running three or four times a week, every week, year around can be challenging, but when you set goals it's easier to stay fit," he said.

Solinas said bringing home a gold medal not only reflects on an officer's hard work and commitment to fitness, but is an honor for the entire department.

Whether it's chasing a gold medal or a criminal, officers say it begins with being fit.

"It's vitally important," Samples said. "I remember when I was working midnights, the foot chases you get in to and you really want to be physically fit, because after you chase a person and you catch them, what are you going to do with them?"

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