Paralyzed Oregon officer stands for promotion to sergeant

PORTLAND, Ore. (KOIN) —  A Portland Police officer who was paralyzed in a training accident nearly 5 years ago stood up to accept his promotion to sergeant on Thursday.

Newly named Sgt. Paul Meyer was able to stand and take his oath with the help of the ReWalk machine, a robotic exoskeleton that allows people with spinal cord injuries to walk.

Meyer was paralyzed from the waist down during an ATV training exercise on Hayden Island in 2012. Meyer told KOIN 6 News after his injury, then-Police Chief Mike Reese told his wife right away that he still had a job — giving his family stability through his 9-month recovery process.

He said fellow officers visited him at the hospital in shifts to encourage him to take the sergeants test.

Meyer, who has worked for the Portland Police Bureau since 1991, was working to become a sergeant before the 2012 accident and says he’s thrilled to where he is today.

“I stood up and took the oath,” Meyer said. “It’s something you do when you get hired and to be able to do that again means so much to me. It’s unbelievable.”

Sgt. Meyer will be assigned to the professional standards unit. He previously served in the training division and special emergency reaction team and continued work in the training division after his injury.

The ReWalk machine also helps Meyer walk and improves his circulation, digestion and bone density.

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