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Fit Cops: Ridgefield Police Officer Chases Versatility

“I don’t stay in shape for myself. I stay in shape because of my job.” ~Kevin Nebbia, Ridgefield Police Department. Photo Credit: Kevin Nebbia
Nebbia lifts at Body Culture in Cliffside Park. Photo Credit: Cecilia Levine

Kevin Nebbia of Cliffside Park isn’t going for aesthetics. He’s not going for strength, victory or glory.

The Ridgefield police officer is going for function.

“If I have to get out of the car and chase someone or help another officer, it doesn’t matter that I can put up 400 pounds,” he said.

“I have to be in the best shape I can be in.”

It’s more difficult for Nebbia to spend a day on the couch than to get up and move. As a child growing up in Ridgefield, he looked forward to recess period to play stickball or kickball.

He joined the baseball, basketball and football teams and as he got older, branched out into other areas of fitness -- like weights and running.

Nebbia (who you may remember from THIS STORY) has never been one to limit himself to only one type of exercise. When the weather is nice, he goes for 10 mile hikes, or will bike to upstate New York and back -- nearly 70 miles.

It all started paying off almost as soon as he became a Ridgefield police officer in 2002.

“I found myself chasing after guys,” he said during a morning workout at Body Culture in Cliffside Park. “I don’t stay in shape for myself. I stay in shape because of my job.”

Sometimes, the officer works from midnight to 8 a.m. Others, from 8 a.m. to 4 p.m.

No matter what he does, he makes time to fit in some exercise --  whether it’s a hike, bike ride or training session at the gym.

Two years ago, Nebbia took 300th place out of 7,000 people participating in a Spartan race. He feels he’s gotten faster and stronger since then.

But again, it's not the medals that Nebbia’s chasing after, anyways.

“Fitness keeps you young,” the officer said. “It’s not for everybody, but I hope that I can help inspire the ones who want to get here, too."

Nebbia says that exercise is only a small facet of fitness.

"It's not just what you do in the gym for one or two hours a day," he said."It's what you are eating and doing the other 22 or 23 hours that day."

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