Matias Ferreira, a double amputee who lost his legs fighting with the Marines in Afghanistan, was one of 59 recruits sworn into the Suffolk County, New York Police Department on Friday,
According to the Suffolk County Police, Ferreira is the first known double amputee to join law enforcement in the United States. Ferreira was able to join the force after 29 weeks of training.
"On behalf of the entire Suffolk County Police Department, we are honored to have these young men and women joining our ranks tomorrow and dedicating their careers to serving the residents of Suffolk County," Police Commissioner Timothy D. Sini said in a statement. "With their hard work, determination and bravery, we will continue to move this department forward and make Suffolk County an even safer place to live."
According to Newsday, Ferreira relies on titanium prosthetics to get around after a 30-pound bomb shattered his legs below his knees.
In order for Ferreira to pass the physical requirements to become an officer, he had to run a mile and a half within the required 12 minutes, 29 seconds, and perform 38 sit-ups and 29 push-ups.
“I’m just really eager and excited to prove myself to my colleagues in my new job, my new career, that I’m capable of doing the job just as well as somebody with both legs,” Ferreira told Newsday. “I don’t think the prosthetics hinder me in any way.”
Ferreira, 28, was born in Uruguay, but moved with his family to the United States at age 6. He said he has wanted to be in law enforcement since visiting the 1996 Summer Olympics in Atlanta.
Suffolk County covers the eastern half of Long Island.