Story last updated at 4:40 p.m. Thursday, August 15, 2002

Strong arm of the law
The Dutch Harbor Fisherman
Bill Simms is the brawn behind the badge.

A public safety officer in Unalaska, Simms is "probably the strongest person in law enforcement in the state of Alaska," said Sgt. Matt Betzen.

Simms, who won a gold and silver medal at a competition in Spokane, Wash., recently, and took home a gold in wrist wrestling. His silver came during a competitive bench press event in which Simms hoisted 515 pounds.

He lost to a Canadian firefighter who lifted 520 pounds.

Unfazed, Simms thinks he was robbed.

"I've done 600 here in training," he said. "It was 106 degrees there, and we were in a big circus tent, so it was even hotter in there. Being from Alaska, that was pretty hard."

Simms lifted weights competitively as a teenager in Hawaii, and as a college football player, but said he hasn't trained for more than a decade. He picked up the sport again last year when he was hired as a public safety officer.

He trains two hours a day, four days a week, and likes to work with beginners to help them better understand the sport.

Polite and modest, Simms nonetheless believes he'll improve his finish when he competes at the world championships in Spain next summer.

"I think I'll take gold in the worlds," he said. "Not to sound overconfident or anything, but I can do a lot more."

In the meantime, the brawny cop continues to train while using his imposing physique -- he has his uniform shirts custom made, and still needs to cut off the long sleeves to fit them over his arms -- to his advantage.

"I don't know why, but people are intimidated by me," he said, smiling. "I'm a pretty nice guy."

--The Dutch Harbor Fisherman

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