GRAND RAPIDS, Mich. (WOOD) — A Grand Rapids detective is coming home with gold.
James Vakertzis, a detective with the Grand Rapids Police Department, competed in this year’s World Police & Fire Games in the Netherlands. He won gold for the 400 lbs. bench press and 590 lbs. dead lift, Grandville Road Patrol Officer Rich Brown, who helped Vakertzis with fundraising, told News 8.
“Thank the Lord, my family, friends, everyone who has stood behind me on this journey!” Vakertzis said in a GRPD Facebook post. “It’s an honor to represent the Grand Rapids Police Department, Grand Rapids Police Officer’s Association, MSP ICAC, City of Grand Rapids, West Michigan, and the Good Ole USA!”
The World Police & Fire Games brings out nearly 10,000 people who work in police, fire, customs and corrections departments from all over the world. They compete in over 60 sports.
“It’s very humbling for me to be able to represent the city and the people that have taken care of me,” Vakertzis told News 8 in March. “As far as I know, I will be the only competitor from Michigan — only one in Grand Rapids, I can tell you.”
During the 2019 World Police & Fire Games in China, Vakertzis took home silver in powerlifting.