By Emily Luxen
COWAN, Tenn. (WTVF/CNN) - A Tennessee police officer is inspiring others by overcoming great obstacles. According to WTVF-TV, he is the first upper-limb amputee in the country to graduate from a police academy.
Jerod Bradford comes to work each day with a smile on his face.
"I just want to do my job, I want to give back to the community and I want to help," he said.
As one of the newest full-time officers at the Cowan Police Department, he attacks each assignment with enthusiasm. His dream job, is the result of hard work, and determination to overcome his physical disabilities.
"I hope people look at me, look at this story and say 'you know, if he can do it, I can do it," said Bradford.
After losing part of his left arm, and a finger on his right hand after a near death electrocution 10 years ago, officer Bradford didn't slow down.
"I knew this would be the hardest thing I've ever accomplished in my life since my accident, and it was," he said.
Before he was able to patrol the streets of Cowan, he had to prove he could survive 10 weeks of grueling training at the police academy.
"The sit-ups the gut busters, the planks, those were things not on my favorite list, but I did every single one of them right next to everyone else," he said.
But, at times, he had to get creative.
"I took a crutch tip, filled it full of epoxy and put a bolt in it to where it would fit on my prosthetic, so I could do pushups and I wouldn't slide," said Bradford.
The persistence paid off and motivated others in the department along the way.
Now Officer Bradford is looking forward to a long law enforcement career, and a chance to encourage others to follow their dreams.
"You can succeed in anything, all you have to do is try, don't let anybody tell you otherwise," he said.