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Lorain Patrolman is 'Ohio's Strongest'

LORAIN - With a physique like a fictional superhero, complete with rippling biceps and broad chest, Lorain Patrolman Bill Lachner looks like he jumped off the page of a comic book.

And now he has a suitable title to go along with it: Ohio's strongest law enforcement officer.

The patrolman's years of rigorous training in a local gym paid off when he garnered the title by lifting more than twice his body weight.

Lachner, 32, bench pressed 500 pounds at the June 18 Ohio Law Enforcement games held in Warren, taking home a first place finish among the 150 competing officers from around the state.

'I'm basically the strongest policeman in the state,' said Lachner, who stands 5-feet 8-inches tall.

Lachner, an approachable man with piercing blue eyes and black hair, lifted the second highest weight in the competition's 22-year history, falling only 5 pounds short of the record set by a man 50 pounds heavier than the 217-pound Lachner.

The games consist of officers from across the state competing in a host of sporting events, including swimming, golfing, and football.

Lachner, who has served on the police force for seven years, won this year's weight lifting competition by besting his previous mark set in 1998 of 485 pounds. The event between the officers was competitive, the well-spoken Lachner said.

'It's very competitive because it is a fully sanctioned event,' Lachner said. 'I try to maintain my concentration, but you know the pressure is there.'

Although Lachner was reluctant to brag on his accomplishment, Lorain Police Chief Cel Rivera praised his officer's performance.

'It's not only a personal accomplishment, but it brings a lot of pride to the whole department,' Rivera said. 'There is no doubt his self discipline carries over to his police duties.'

Lachner, who lives in Vermilion with his wife Nikki, said his size can sometimes help in his job as a police officer.

'I think my physical presence can help at times. It can help me gain control of a suspect. But, for example, if someone is intoxicated and is unruly, it really doesn't matter,' Lachner said.

His size, which includes a 52-inch chest, 18-inch biceps and a 34-inch waist, draws attention, particularly from children.

'The kids think it's a great thing and they talk to him,' Rivera said. 'It enhances the image of the city and is a credit to the department.'

Lachner first became interested in power lifting 14 years ago and has been seriously training for the sport for the past seven years. He is currently ranked in the top 100 in the nation in his 220-pound weight class.

The time in the gym training and the competitions give Lachner a break from the rigors of being a patrolman.

'It's just something I enjoy doing,' Lachner said.