July 25, 2012 - By Curtis Pulliam -- Leader Intern
Meet Officer Daniel Muhlitner. (click for larger version)
The journey began in October 2010, when Daniel Muhlitner, weighing 314 pounds at the time, chose to make a tough but life changing decision.
"Basically I decided to pursuit something I had always wanted to do," Muhlitner, 38 and resident of Oxford, said. "I wanted to become a road deputy and in order to do that, I had to lose weight."
Over the next year and a half, Muhlitner worked on what he needed to pass the physical exams given by the police academy. But before Muhlitner did just that, he made sure he had a fresh start with losing the weight.
"The first thing I did before I started any exercise was buy a new scale," Muhlitner said. "I made sure if I was going to lose the weight then I was going to do it correctly."
Muhlitner then started with the exercises he needed to pass, which included push-ups, sit-ups, a shuttle run, and a vertical jump. In addition to doing these, Muhlitner also spent about a half hour on the elliptical machine at his home.
"At first it was tough," Muhlitner said. "I just kept telling myself not to make excuses and to stick with it."
After a few months, Muhlitner finally started to see results. Along with the exercises about three to four times a week, Muhlitner was watching what he was eating, and taking supplements to help him burn off the fat.
"It was just something I wanted to do," said Muhlitner. "I had been wanting to lose the weight for a while."
So this summer, he enrolled in the Oakland Community College Police Academy to become a certified road deputy.
"It was a lot of hard work and long hours," Muhlitner said. "The program consisted of a lot of classes and bookwork but we did some other training as well."
Some of the other training included shooting different firearms and learning how to drive the police cars.
"My favorite part was learning how to drive the cars," Muhlitner said. "We got to do that for a few days which was pretty fun to do."
Well the hard work and determination paid off, because on June 15, Muhlitner graduated from the Oakland Community College Police Academy program.
On his final written tests, he averaged about 90 percent, with his lowest score being 88.7 percent. As for the physical exams, Muhlitner now weighting 174 pounds, had no problem with them.
Prior to graduation, Muhlitner had worked as an Oakland County Sheriff's Deputy assigned to corrections since 2000. Mentally, Muhlitner was perfectly fine to become certified for the road. However, it was the physical part of the task that was holding him back.
Currently, Muhlitner is still an officer assigned to corrections, but now he is waiting for the promotion, which he is now certified to accept. Muhlitner made his dream come true, and it wasn't without hard work that he made it happened.
"The most rewarding part of all of this is I finally became a certified police officer," Muhlitner said. "It feels great to accomplish something I have been wanting to do for a long time."