An eastern Iowa police officer has returned to patrol duty more than two years after an assault nearly claimed his life. Cedar Rapids Police Chief Greg Graham says officer Tim Davis is in uniform and back on the streets for the first time since March of 2009.

Graham says, although Davis has served with the department for six years, he’s basically being treated as a rookie cop. Davis is partnered with a training officer after passing tests measuring his psychological well-being, physical fitness and proficiency with firearms.

Davis suffered a fractured skull and brain swelling in March of 2009 when he was struck with a handgun and hit his head on the street. It happened as he was searching for three teens involved in a robbery. Jose Rockiett, now 20 years old, was convicted in the case and is serving a 25 year prison sentence.

Officer Davis was in the hospital for 39 days. He returned to work four months later, but was out of the public eye.

“We had him sitting at a desk and doing things out of the public view in investigations and evidence,” Graham said.

Doctors say Davis is showing no symptoms from the assault that would prevent him from being a police officer. Chief Graham says Davis also recalls much of his training before the injury.

“I would’ve never thought that we would be as far as we are now,” Graham said of Davis’ progress. “I think Tim knew, in his own way, that he could do it.”

Davis could still take a medical retirement, since he was injured on duty, and collect part of his salary for the rest of his life. But, Graham said Davis has been adamant about returning to full-time police work.

By Chris Earl, KCRG-TV, Cedar Rapids