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Fit Cops: Bergen County SWAT Member Keeps Composure In Boxing Ring

Victor Urgiles, 30, is a Wallington police officer and Bergen County SWAT Team member. Photo Credit: Cecilia Levine
The Bergen County Regional SWAT Team -- including Urgiles -- responded to a Hackensack home last May on reports of a barricaded murder suspect. Photo Credit: Cecilia Levine
Urgiles reviews footage of himself with Coach Daniel Wilson. Photo Credit: Cecilia Levine
"Fitness is not just about being boastful or vein," the officer told Daily Voice. "It's about being on top of your game." Photo Credit: Cecilia Levine
Urgiles trains three or four times a week at Savage Boxing & Fitness in Hackensack. Photo Credit: Cecilia Levine

Victor Urgiles had just gotten home from police training last May when the call came in.

A New York City murder suspect had barricaded himself in a Hackensack home.

Urgiles, a Bergen County Regional SWAT Team member, knew anything could happen at the scene. 

But he wasn't afraid.

Moments like this is what Urgiles trains for.

"Always stay ready so you don't have to get ready," said Urgiles, also a Wallington police officer.

That's the mentality he adopted as a boxer at Hackensack's Savage Boxing & Fitness, and says work in the ring helps prepare him for his job in law enforcement.

Since 2014, the 30-year-old has won two of his four fights and is working toward more victories this spring and at the Diamond Gloves tournament in August.

But praise isn't what Urgiles is after. He's got more important things to worry about -- like the lives and safety of others. 

That's all that mattered to Urgiles that rainy day last May, as he headed to Hackensack to face the unexpected.

After an hours-long standoff, the suspect was found dead in a closet, and Urgiles returned home, again unsure of what he would have to face next, or when.

What he did know, though, was that he'd be ready.

Urgiles stood in his gym on Wednesday afternoon, beads of sweat dripping from his hair down the sides of his face.

He was 30 minutes into his workout that day when he paused to reflect on what he was training for.

"I'm not here to be a boxer," he said, his eyes fixated on the heavy bag in front of him. 

"I'm here to be a better person."

Urgiles graduated from Kearny High School in 2006 and immediately enlisted in the U.S. Marine Corps -- where he first learned about self-defense.

He was first deployed in 2008, and served in Iraq for one year.

Urgiles began college at Rutgers University as soon as he returned in 2009, and was deployed again after graduation in 2013 -- this time to Africa.

He had taken the civil service exam in 2010, and got a call from the Wallington Police Department while on his second deployment.

Urgiles began training at the police academy as soon as he returned in December 2013.

That's when he found boxing, and saw it as a good opportunity to learn self-defense.

"I never want to use my last resort as my first resort," Urgiles told Daily Voice. "I never want to use excessive force."

Only enough to protect himself and others, he said.

Urgiles has been training with coach Daniel Wilson 39, for four years. They're working on correcting techniques and polishing bad habits.

But Wilson says that Urgiles has more strengths than weaknesses.

"He'll never give up, no matter what," the coach said. "He's well-balanced and a good overall boxer."

Wilson says boxing is a year-round sport, which means athletes can't afford to let their good habits slip.

That's never been an issue for Urgiles, he said -- one of his most hardworking and humble students.

"Fitness is not just about being boastful or vein," the officer told Daily Voice. "It's about being on top of your game."

Think you're the fittest police officer in Bergen or Passaic county? Know someone who is? Email to be featured in the new Daily Voice series, "Fit Cops."

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