Tukwila Police Department officer Charles Saguil brought home a gold medal from the U.S. Police and Fire Championships earlier this summer.
Saguil, 31, took first place in the submission grappling heavyweight division of the competition, which took place June 18-25 in San Diego.
“It was such a tough tournament,” Saguil said. “The next day I could hardly move.”
Last year, Saguil competed in the World Police and Fire Games in Fairfax, Va., winning in freestyle wrestling and finishing second in Greco-Roman wrestling.
Saguil started wrestling when he was 12 and continued to compete on the mat throughout his high school and college years.
“I am just glad there are events like that I can still participate in, especially against other law enforcement,” he said. “It’s competitive but these are your brothers and sisters in law enforcement, so there’s a different kind of camaraderie there. That’s what makes it more fun.”
Saguil teaches Gracie Survival Tactics, a type of jiu jitsu for law enforcement, to officers in Tukwila twice a week.
He first got involved in the police and fire games while working as a U.S. Border Patrol Agent in Arizona, before joining the Tukwila Police Department two years ago.
“When I got here, it was just natural to want to represent Tukwila and compete in these games,” he said.
Tukwila Police Chief Mike Villa said the department is proud of Saguil’s success in San Diego.
“He is a humble and consummate professional who is committed to being physically and skillfully prepared to keep our community safe,” Villa said in an email. “His success on the mat is a testament to the type of dedication that he also gives to his work and to our community. He is just an all-around great person.”
Saguil was the only officer from Tukwila to compete at this year’s games, but hopes to get his colleagues involved in future competitions.
He said the games offer a variety of events, including bowling, dodgeball and cornhole, so there’s something for everyone.
“You don’t have to be this great athlete,” he said.
Villa would like to see more of his officers take part in the games.
“I encourage physical fitness and training for our staff,” Villa said. “It is a necessary component of officer wellness and produces a healthier and more capable police force to serve our community.”
The Tukwila Police Officer’s Guild funded Saguil’s trip to San Diego.