In the ceremony, the ex-U.S. Marine combat veteran graduated the Suffolk County Police Academy and is now perhaps the only double-amputee in the entire country to serve as an active patrol officer.
Wile attending the 1996 Summer Olympics in Atlanta as a child, Ferreira apparently became enamored of the cops and soldiers on the scene and informed his family that he wanted to join the military or go into law enforcement. It turns out that he did both, scoring 100 on the civil service entrance exam given the extra credit for his tour of duty in the Marines.
While deployed to Afghanistan in 2011, Lance Corporal Ferreira lost his legs below the knees in an IED explosion.
“The plan was to stay a Marine for life — until he lost his legs and had to come up with a new plan to serve,” CBS News reported.
Ferreira, who uses prosthetic titanium legs, was elected president of his 80-member police academy class in the 29-week training session, during which he never requested any special accommodations.
“As Ferreira received his certificate, the audience and cadets at the ceremony showered him with applause and admiration. His family showed full support. His wife, Tiffany, said watching her husband achieve his dream was really special,” Fox5 explained about the history-making and inspirational achievement.
Watch an interview with Officer Matias Ferreira on Fox & Friends during which he discusses his military experience, including his January 2011 injury, and his dream of becoming a police officer.
He will begin his policing duties this week in the Babylon, Long Island, New York, area.
The U.S. Marine vet, 28, spent about a year in the hospital after landing on a 30-pound Taliban bomb.
The new cop came to America with his family at age six. “Ferreira, who is fluent in Spanish, was born in Uruguay. His family moved to the Atlanta area when he was a child to pursue ‘the American dream,’ he said,” Newsday reported.
“The hand we’re dealt in life, we just have to take it, adapt and overcome so that’s what I figured I would do,” he told ABC News. As alluded to above, Ferreira is married and the father of a two-year-old daughter.
In 2015, Matias made headlines after he rescued a baby from a bad car accident. He was on his way home from his wedding rehearsal when he heard the crash behind him and knew that he had to stop to help.