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Gwinnett Co. Police Recruit Dies During First Physical Training Day

GWINNETT COUNTY, Ga. (CW69 News at 10) -- Gwinnett County police say Ronald Donat, 41, a police recruit, had just joined their 112th Training Academy, but his new career came to an unexpected and sad end during the first day of physical training.

The workout started around 6 a.m. on Tuesday, October 12, 2021. Police say Donat had just completed a section of pull ups. "Mr. Ronald started to feel lethargic approximately 45 minutes into the workout," said Gwinnett Police Public Information Officer Hideshi Valle. "The training staff immediately told him to sit down and rest. Mr. Ronald attempted to continue the exercises but was still a little bit confused," she said.

They contacted emergency services and performed CPR before crews arrived. Donat later died at a local hospital. There's no word on if he had any underlying medical issues. "All recruits are medically evaluated and cleared prior to starting an academy," said Valle. Officers say recruits must also pass a state-mandated physical ability test before joining the force. "We will continue to evaluate our trainings standards and ensure that all recruits and pre-recruits follow their medical screening, Valle said.

Police say Donat was the first known recruit to die during their training. "It's an emotional time here for Gwinnett County police and the training staff and the recruits. We have procedures in place to ensure that they receive counseling services," said Valle.

She said police have notified the next of kin, and the medical examiner is looking into the cause of death.

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