Deputy with one arm proves disability not roadblock to police work

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Michael Jason sets his aim at the shooting range in Grimes County. Jason lost an arm in a farming accident years ago.

It's his job to fight crime and he says he can do it just as well with one arm as deputies who have two.

Sheriff's deputy Michael Jason is in his 10th year on patrol in Grimes County.

"No matter what happens, you can still do whatever you want to do if you put your mind to it," said Jason, who goes by the nickname "M.J."

Grimes County Sheriff Donald Sowell says some couldn't believe it when he hired M.J.

"I had some people who thought I was some dad-gum nuts, to be frank about it, for hiring him," Sowell said.

He says some expressed concerns that M.J. might not be able to handle the physicality of the job.

"He showed them. I didn't do anything. He showed them," Sowell said.

M.J. lost his right arm in a freak accident on his family's farm back when he was just 12 years old. Ever since, he says, he's been working to prove he can do just about everything everybody else can. That includes his work as a peace officer. He admits he must improvise to quickly change a round of ammunition or put handcuffs on a suspect. But he's done that countless times in his career and though done a little differently he says its just as effective. Sheriff Sowell says Jason's accuracy with a weapon is nearly unmatched among his fellow deputies.

M.J. says it's a state of mind: he sees challenges, not obstacles.

"It's mind over matter. Only you know your capabilities, what you're capable of doing. But then you got to prove that," Jason said.

It wasn't until last summer that people started taking notice after he helped some out of towners change a flat tire. They posted a picture with him on social media calling him an inspiration. In his most humble of voices, M.J. said it was all in a day's work.

"I just thank God that I'm blessed to be here and alive," he said.

In a world where some question police actions, Jason says, maybe his story will go a long way toward proving so many are truly here to protect and serve.
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