Brian Nieto ... Final Day on the Force

January 22, 2009 7:39:19 PM PST
A Fresno Police officer logged off for duty more than two years after he nearly lost his life on the job. Brian Nieto was shot three times, and critically injured during a chase.It was a difficult decision, but one Brian Nieto knew he had to make. He's only 34 years old, but his physical wounds, still have not healed and so today he officially logged off.

Officer Brian Nieto fought back tears as he signed off under his id- 7 Tom 58.

"This is Officer Brian Nieto logging off for duty. Thank you Officer Nieto, job well done."

He never planned to end his career like this, Never expected a near fatal injury would strip him of a job he loved. Nerve damage has never healed. Retiring has been bittersweet.

"I feel like the doors have opened but one has closed and that sorrows me a little bit but I gotta keep my head up and go forward with whatever it takes," said Nieto.

Nieto's journey is still far from over. He is trying to limit his medication but that means enduring the sometimes constant pain. The road to recovery has also been tough for Nieto's parents and so was this day.

Mary Nieto said, "Was very sad to hear it. I used to ride with him when he was in the motor in his car and I used to hear him work and he was so wonderful at what he did and it's really sad that he can't continue. Because he was wonderful and he loved his job, he did."

Nieto spent 30 days in intensive care then countless hours in therapy after being shot by a bulldog gang member in July of 2006. The suspect, Joaquin Figueroa, was eventually shot and killed by police.

"He patrolled in the central policing district with his last assignment in the neighborhood traffic unit," said Chief Dyer.

Nieto says redefining himself will be a challenge. He is still an officer at heart.

"It's very emotionally draining to know that's all that you did every day. You are not just a cop when you put it on you are always a cop so even though you are still one it's hard to go day by day knowing you can't do that anymore," said Nieto.

When he's able, Brian may pursue private investigating. In the meantime, hes just working to make himself whole again.

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