Bangs police officer retires after 29-year career despite having one arm


BANGS, Texas - {span style="font-size:16px;"}{span style="font-family:Arial,Helvetica,sans-serif;"}Sgt. Michael Isbell of the Bangs Police Department did his last patrol Friday. {/span}{/span}

{span style="font-size:16px;"}{span style="font-family:Arial,Helvetica,sans-serif;"}He retired after 29 years in law enforcement and overcoming people who doubted whether he could succeed because of his disability. {/span}{/span}

{span style="font-size:16px;"}{span style="font-family:Arial,Helvetica,sans-serif;"}"It taught me you can't depend on everybody else to help you out," Isbell said. {/span}{/span}

{span style="font-size:16px;"}{span style="font-family:Arial,Helvetica,sans-serif;"}Isbell was born without a left arm, which was a reason he said he never thought he could be an officer.{/span}{/span}

{span style="font-size:16px;"}{span style="font-family:Arial,Helvetica,sans-serif;"}"There were several times I had applied at agencies and I've been called for interviews. But as soon as they see the situation it's like, 'oh no,'" he said.{/span}{/span}

{span style="font-size:16px;"}{span style="font-family:Arial,Helvetica,sans-serif;"}He said he finished third in his class from a police academy in Travis County and eventually landed a job in Burnett County. All his superiors cared about was whether he could make an arrest.{/span}{/span}

{span style="font-size:16px;"}{span style="font-family:Arial,Helvetica,sans-serif;"}"You're labeled as he can't, he can't, he can't. What happened to what he can do," Isbell said.{/span}{/span}

{span style="font-size:16px;"}{span style="font-family:Arial,Helvetica,sans-serif;"}Being an officer was a dream come true even if it meant doing it with one arm. {/span}{/span}

{span style="font-size:16px;"}{span style="font-family:Arial,Helvetica,sans-serif;"}"You gotta do what you gotta do to get done what you need to get done," he said. "And even though I did it a different way, it still got done."{/span}{/span}

{span style="font-size:16px;"}{span style="font-family:Arial,Helvetica,sans-serif;"}At his retirement party, Isbell was presented with a a distinguished police service award from the American Police Hall of Fame.{/span}{/span}