Brian Munoz was on a routine night shift in Clearwater, Florida when he met a young child whose words still haunt him.
The police offer answered a call about a domestic disturbance. The case: A widowed father, who had resorted to drinking after losing his wife, was having a disagreement with his three children.
Nobody was hurt, but Munoz took the opportunity to talk to the youngest son, who was feeling “pretty blue about the whole thing.” The boy asked Munoz a devastating question: “Could you be my daddy?”
In the moment, Munoz remained stoic–police officers shouldn't show much emotion on duty, he says–and offered the boy words of encouragement and a promise to get the family the help they needed.
But when he returned to his cruiser, he broke down.
“I cried like a little baby, as embarrassing as that may sound,” Munoz says. The boy looked identical to Munoz's own son, Anthony, “except he was depressed, dirty, motherless, and basically abandoned by his biological father.”
From that pivotal moment, “I became much more appreciative of my family, and of the kind of father that I was being to my kids,” says Munoz, 34, a semifinalist in the 2015 Search for the Ultimate Men's Health Guy.
As a cop, SWAT team member, and volunteer coach for his son's soccer team, strives to show his kids what it takes to be a good man. Though he's actually an artist by trade, holding a degree from the School of Visual Arts in New York City, a stint in the military made him realize he wanted to serve and protect other people for a living.
His career choice was sealed when he determined he could help others–and still be with his family–by becoming a local police officer.
Two years into his tenure in Clearwater, “it seemed liked all the prior military guys and âtough' guys were on the SWAT team,” Munoz says. “So I wanted to be a part of that. I wanted to be part of the elite.”
It turned out to be a natural fit: Munoz was nominated as the top dog in SWAT school and has been on the team for the last 8 years.
As a member of the SWAT team, staying fit isn't just a hobby–it's an essential part of his job description.
“I prioritize fitness because I believe that my safety as an officer, the safety of my fellow officers, and public safety rely on my physical fitness,” says Munoz. “If I'm fit and I'm in shape, then I can respond appropriately when the time comes.”
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In 2012, Munoz accidentally founded a personal-training business when he helped a fellow officer work out consistently. The colleague lost 50 pounds in about 6 months, and a new venture was born.
“I got hooked on that feeling of helping other people become the best versions of themselves,” says Munoz. “That's something everyone has to define for themselves: what their version of being better is. My intention is to facilitate them reaching their potential,” he says.
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