Atlantic City Officer is First K9 Cop in NJ with Prosthetic Leg
Atlantic City Police officer Mike Braxton seems like the kind of guy who doesn't give up easily.
Braxton has just completed several months of training as an Atlantic City K9 cop, becoming the first amputee in New Jersey to ever finish police canine training at the John "Sonny" Burke Police K-9 Academy.
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Braxton lost his leg in 2013 in a motorcycle accident when a car changed lanes into his path.
Braxton was back on the job as an Atlantic City Police detective a year later with a prosthetic leg and even qualified for the 2016 Paralympic Games trials.
But Braxton, 35, who has three sons, ages 17, 10, and 1, told the Press of Atlantic City he has always wanted to be a K9 cop.
When he entered the Atlantic County Police K-9 Academy, Braxton ran into problems controlling his dog because of limitations with side-to-side movements with his prosthetic leg.
"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," Deputy Chief Michael Franks of the West Deptford Police Department told 6ABC
Franks remembered having responded to a call at a prosthetics company in town and immediately reached out to orthopedics company Ossur, who has a location in West Deptford.
"We started sending them training videos of Braxton when he was handling his dog and came up with a plan," said Deputy Chief Franks.
Ossur donated two prosthetic feet to Braxton which allowed him to better handle his K9 partner with more stability.
"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.
Officer Braxton graduated with the rest of his K9 officer class last month, but his dog, Ryker, failed out of the academy, and the team is doing an additional 10 weeks of training.
Again, Braxton doesn't give up easily. Mike Braxton will be just the third amputee in the country to become a K9 cop.