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Retired U.S. man, 69, begins second career as a deputy

The Associated Press

FORT MYERS, Florida- While many 69-year-olds in Florida are golfing and taking it easy, D.J. Lansaw is beginning a brand new career _ as a deputy sheriff.

Inspired by the Sept. 11, 2001, terrorist attacks, the retired construction surveyor attended a six-month police academy. He graduated Monday with a job as a road deputy with the Lee County Sheriff's Office, The News-Press of southwest Florida reported Tuesday.

"I wasn't the fastest or the strongest, but I wasn't at the bottom of the class either," said Lansaw, who has volunteered at the sheriff's office since 2002. "I hope a lot of other people see this and say 'If he can do it, I can do it.' We need more deputies."

Lee County sheriff's Maj. Rob Homan said Lansaw underwent mandatory physical, medical and psychological screenings and cleared them all with ease.

"As long as somebody passes the agility test and passes the process, regardless of their age, we cannot discriminate," Homan said. "He's not your typical 69-year-old."

Lansaw will not be the oldest deputy on the force. Cpl. Harvey Hudnall, 74, still works as a patrol deputy, Cpl. John Foley, 72, works in the agency's civil division.

A U.S. Army veteran and National Rifle Association pistol instructor, Lansaw said the hardest part of the academy wasn't the push-ups or daily runs. His longtime work as a country line dance instructor had helped him stay in shape.

"The hardest thing was getting pepper-sprayed," Lansaw said. "That was kind of painful."

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