Sheriff’s department member reaches rare fitness territory
ASHEBORO — When Luke Wible saw the list of physical tests from the National Tactical Officers Association, he noted the value for a SWAT team member.
That might have been just part of what led the Randolph County Sheriff’s deputy to achieve a rare score on the test.
“I’m a newer guy, but I could see how those things you do in the test could translate when you’re on duty in a real situation,” he said.
Wible, a patrol deputy, basically aced the Physical Fitness Qualification Challenge.
“He’s such a motivator,” Lt. Eric Wilson of the Randolph County Sheriff’s Department said. “He has a way about him to motivate others.”
The challenge test is offered to SWAT officers. A perfect score is considered 50, but Wible compiled 13 additional points for a 63.
“I’m just really into fitness,” he said. “It’s kind of therapeutic for me.”
He runs several times a week with other officers. He also takes part in a Jiu-Jitsu class along with other workouts.
Wible, 26, is 5-foot-9 and 170, shedding about 20 pounds from when he was a teenager before he became entrenched in workouts. His background includes time in the Marines.
Now he’s going to be the source of positive attention for the Randolph County Sheriff’s Department. His name and the agency’s name will be recognized in “The Tactical Edge” magazine, a publication of the NTOA. That will be a first for Randolph County.
“He knew that he wanted to max out on it,” Wilson said. “We suspected that he was going to probably get a perfect score. … This was taking it a step further. It’s a very rigorous test.”
Wible said the intent wasn’t to gain notoriety but to push himself and hopefully elevate others along the way.
“It’s really cool to be a part of that,” Wible said. “Everyone on the SWAT team has been very encouraging. Not just the SWAT team, but the sheriff’s department as a whole.”
Wible is on the department’s 15-member SWAT team, which joins forces with agencies in Archdale and Liberty.
The NTOA is the standard for SWAT teams, Wilson said.
“That’s where we get our guidelines on how we operate,” he said. “We use that when we’re drafting our training.”
The test, conducted in uniform and boots, includes an 800-meter run; a 400-meter run while carrying two 25-pound weights, wearing a weighted vest and a gas mask (no filter); three minutes of burpees (ups and downs or a combination of squat thrust and squat jump); two minutes of air squats in weighted vest and gas mask; and one minute of pull-ups. There are three-minute recovery times between events.
“To wear all that equipment and go do something so intense, it looked challenging,” Wible said. “I had to train specifically for (wearing the gas mask). The first time I went through the test during training, I threw up after working out.”
His drills were conducted last week at Randolph Community College’s emergency services training center. Wilson said NTOA members administered the test with extra scrutiny because of the potential for a record score.
Wible is from New Jersey and then met his future wife, who was from Greensboro, at Fort Lee in Virginia. The couple wanted to live in North Carolina but in a more rural setting than Greensboro and ended up in Asheboro.
Wible spent more than 2 ½ years with the Asheboro Police Department before joining the county’s department in November 2020.
He’s in his first year on the SWAT team, which involves a part-time commitment within the department. With the sheriff’s department, he already made an impact as the recipient of the 2021 Eagle Award based on strength, honor, and integrity, with a presentation from Wilson.
“There’s no assignment that I’ve given him that’s too big,” Wilson said.