ST. FRANCIS COUNTY, Ark. — A former WWE superstar and undefeated MMA fighter is trying to make a difference in the Mid-South.
Daniel Puder is known worldwide for being a professional athlete and social entrepreneur, but now he is sporting a different kind of uniform — one for the St. Francis County Sheriff's Department.
“It’s a different experience for me," Puder said. "I’m blessed.”
Puder has always had a connection to law enforcement and was proudly sponsored by a police officers' association in his competition years.
“It was awesome to see how they enforced the law, but also how they went out there and impacted community," the new deputy reserve said.
Now, he’s joining that impact. He went through the required training and was sworn in as a part-time St. Francis County Sheriff’s deputy this week.
“Law enforcement is super powerful with building relationships, protecting the community, owners of different businesses, speaking at rotary, being a part of the chamber of commerce," Puder said.
He does the same through his non-profit, "My Life My Power." The organization brings together students, professionals and businesses in the community.
Together, they add to each other’s successes. There’s an emphasis on helping children achieve their goals, stay out of trouble and deal with adversity.
Puder can speak from personal experience for some, like being bullied growing up.
“I believe that bullying doesn’t exist in my life anymore because somebody can’t bully me," Puder said. "I control myself, but I didn’t understand that foundation when I was a kid.”
Puder is working as a part-time deputy without pay while also incorporating his program into the St. Francis County area. He will patrol the streets and meet with community members.
“This isn’t a program we’re going to try to do. It’s a program we’re going to do," said Captain Eddie Adamson of the St. Francis County Sheriff's Department.
Adamson is Puder's link to St. Francis County. They have been friends for a decade. Adamson knew Puder’s interest in law enforcement and connected him to the department.
Puder said he is eager to get to work and make a difference in the community.
Puder has brought his program to about 450 areas across the country. He plans to come to the Mid-South quarterly for a week or two each time.
Anyone interested in becoming part of the program can contact the St. Francis County Sheriff’s Department.