Paulo Santos has worked in law enforcement for more than two decades, and when he retires from that career in three years he plans to be ready for a second career in the strength and conditioning field with a degree from the United States Sports Academy.

A resident of Hopatcong, New Jersey, Santos has worked as a police officer since 1999. Prior to that, he was in the U.S. Army for four years and stationed at Fort Rucker in Alabama. He is currently in charge of his police department’s gym and holds a CrossFit Level 2 Certification.

Santos is pursuing his Bachelor of Sports Science (B.S.S.) degree in sports strength and conditioning and plans to work in that field upon his 25-year retirement from law enforcement. He also plans to seek a master’s degree in the field from the Academy.

“As an adult working full time, I can’t say enough about the Academy’s online program,” Santos said. “The flexibility is amazing. I have friends at the department who are pursuing degrees from other institutions, and sometimes they have such a hard time finishing classes because of a lack of flexibility. But I can take my courses on my own schedule and that has been such a blessing.”

A native of Portugal raised in New Jersey, Santos said his strength and conditioning classes have given him knowledge he can use in the police gym and also in his law enforcement work.

“The nutrition and biomechanics classes have been really beneficial to me,” Santos said. “I have enjoyed learning how the body works, and that knowledge has helped me perform my job. Being in shape – and understanding how to help other officers get in shape – has been very helpful to me and our department.”

Santos has been married to his wife, Paula, for 19 years and the couple has two sons.