“Physically Exhausting, Mentally Challenging And Stressful, But All Worth It In The End!” Those were the words and descriptions given by two (2) Sunny Isles Beach Police Officers who laid it all on the line while completing a grueling, competitive and stressful two week certification in Rapid Deployment Force Training. Detective Luke Plesa and Officer Javier Estevez never anticipated they would be challenged to their limits, physically and mentally, when they accepted the training course. They did not know that they would emerge in the absolute best physical shape of their lives at the completion. They did not know that 50% of those accepted into the course do not make it through. Even up until the last day of a two week training a student/ participant can and will be dropped for failure to pass or advance. Did they ever think about dropping out themselves as 50% of the others did? At times to be honest they said. Mostly because you just never knew what lies ahead or how much more demanding is it going to get. It never got easier, not one day. And for what? Why? You might ask. It’s to become a member of an elite task force, countywide, that is known as Rapid Deployment Force, (R.D.F.). This is the group consisting of various police agencies who are trained to deal with the MOST CRITICAL and the WORST of SITUATIONS and INCIDENTS that may befall our communities. In a moment’s notice these highly skilled and trained officers respond to disasters, acts of terrorism, provide dignitary protection when needed, protest events or summits, and Special Events like Presidential Inaugurations. They cover the gamut of whatever might happen. What did some of the Training consist of? Intensive physical training, cardiovascular training, mental intensity challenges; running stairwells in complete riot gear and gas masks; long distance runs up to and including 7 plus miles, over challenging terrains and obstacles. And when someone “messed up” in the group? Well, hit the pavement and give us pushups or sit-ups or other calisthenics until you dropped. REASON? DON’T MESS UP! In real time, real life, real situation, it may cost you or your partner, your life! The Instructors: Experts in the subject matter they are assigned to teach. The Approach: NO NONSENSE. Because these incidents and details you are about to embark on are seriously and critically for REAL! Why for Sunny Isles Beach? It is always our goal to protect our community and our neighboring communities with the absolute best trained responders in time of need. Don’t lull yourself into ever thinking it can’t happen to us here in a Resort Community. Disaster can strike anywhere. Dignitaries can decide to stay anywhere, especially within Sunny Isles Beach. And when any of these things occur it’s comforting and heartening to know that several of your finest will be deployed to the task, to keep us safe. Congratulations Detective Luke Plesa and Officer Javier Estevez. We are extremely proud of you as you saw when the entire Command Staff attended your graduation. And yes, we noticed that in the end only 16 of you GRADUATED. You have made your agency, your city, and your families VERY PROUD.