Amputee K9 Officer Michael Braxton makes history in New Jersey

Officer Braxton lost his leg in a motorcycle accident in June 2013 when a car changed lanes into his path.
EGG HARBOR TOWNSHIP, New Jersey (WPVI) -- Despite losing a leg in a motorcycle accident, Officer Michael Braxton has made it his mission to overcome the odds and serve his community.

Now, thanks to a prosthetics company, he was able to complete a new mission as a K9 officer.

Making it through several months of police K9 training is a big deal for anyone, but making it through with a prosthetic leg is next level.

"I didn't think that was something that would be possible for me to have before I retire," said Officer Braxton.

Once an Atlantic City police detective, Officer Braxton lost his leg in a motorcycle accident in June 2013 when a car changed lanes into his path. That driver never stopped.

He came back to work a year later but was determined to take on a new challenge as a K9 officer, which wasn't without its obstacles.

"I was one of the trainers for his class that he's in now and saw the issues he was having with his current prosthetic," said Deputy Chief Michael Franks of the West Deptford Police Department.

Franks remembered having responded to a call at a prosthetics company in town and immediately reached out to orthopedics company Ossur.

"We started sending them training videos of Braxton when he was handling his dog and came up with a plan," said Deputy Chief Franks.

"They were able to donate two feet to Mike. That allowed him to better handle the K9 partner with a lot more ease and stability," said Eric Katz, a certified prosthetist/orthotist.

"I could pinch myself walking out of there because to give away a prosthetic limb - that's never happened to me before," said Officer Braxton, remembering when he received both prosthetics.

And as best anyone can tell, there had never been a full-time amputee K9 officer in the academy, let alone in New Jersey.

"He could have taken the easy way, but he didn't take the easy way out," said K9 trainer Joe Nick. "You see a disabled individual who didn't sit back on the sidelines and say 'I can't do this anymore.' But stepped forward and said 'build me something, let me show the world that I can do this.'"

Officer Braxton graduated with the rest of his K9 officer class last month, but because his dog failed out of the academy, they're doing additional 10 weeks of training.
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