Leg Amputee Conquers Police Academy Rigors

Leg Amputee Conquers Police Academy Rigors

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Ed Yeates ReportingSome said he couldn't do it. But he did! A 25-year old Logan man went through intense physical training and graduated from the Utah Police Academy - despite his artificial leg.

North Park police officer Ryan Leishman, Officer Ryan, lost his left leg below the knee five years ago following complications from a car accident. When he decided to apply to the Utah Police Academy he went to a local prosthetics company looking for a new and different artificial limb that wouldn't hold him back. Some of his classmates were skeptical.

Ryan Leishman, North Park Police Dept.: "And I had three evaluations state that they didn't feel that I was physically able to do police work. Always been a head strong person and I've never been one to listen to people who have skepticism or sarcasm."

Scott Allen with Fit Well Prosthetics said he's worked with clients who run, ski and parachute, but never someone wanting to pass the rigorous requirements of police work.

Officer Ryan's leg is unique. It's made from a graphite composite that rebounds much like a leaf spring.He can run, jump, climb and tackle. In pursuit of someone, this leg actually stores energy - allowing him to run foot over foot.

Officer Ryan: "We have a close enough friendship in the department that we do joke and we do have good times about it. And i think the officers do know that if it came down to a foot pursuit, they would be in trouble."

Officer Ryan Leishman is saying thanks to a lot of people on this day, especially many fellow officers and his family here who never questioned how far he could go. Ryan has some advice to others who've lost an arm or a leg -- Don't give up. Go after your dreams.

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