‘I wanted a career that mattered,’ brother of fallen officer graduates from police academy
WEST VALLEY, Utah – “There was a moment I wanted to scream,” said the mother of fallen police officer Cody Brotherson about learning that another one of her sons would pursue a career in law enforcement.
Cody Brotherson, an officer with West Valley Police, died in November, 2016, after being hit by a car involved in a police pursuit. He was 25 years old.
“Cody was very passionate about being a police officer,” Jenny Brotherson said about her oldest son.
She recalls the process of her second of three sons, Braydon Brotherson, entering the police academy. During a background interview for Braydon’s application, she was asked whether she understood the danger of the job.
“I’ll never forget, we were in our living room and Cody’s picture was over my shoulder,” Jenny Brotherson recalls. “That was the moment I wanted to go in the kitchen and tell Bray, ‘I don’t care how old you are, you’re grounded, so you’re not going to do it.’”
Braydon Brotherson says it was during his interactions with his late brother that he decided to follow in his footsteps.
“I wanted a career that mattered,” he said. “Through Cody, getting to do ride-alongs and stuff with him, I saw the impact that police are able to have and that sparked it for me.”
He graduated from the police academy on April 19, and is already working as a correctional officer at the Utah Department of Correction’s Draper facility.
“Seeing him wearing the uniform makes our hearts swell with pride,” the West Valley Police Department posted on Facebook along with photos of Braydon’s graduation. “We certainly know his brother would have felt the same.”
“It was really surreal and really proud for me to stand in a similar spot to where Cody was and receiving a badge and taking that oath,” Brayden said.
Even knowing the risk, the Brotherson family fully supports Braydon carrying on his brother’s legacy.
“Braydon aspired to be like Cody his whole life. He knew by watching Cody where hardwork would get you,” Jenny Brotherson said. “We are incredibly proud of him and know Cody’s looking out for him.”
The West Valley Police Department says officers experience daily reminders of Cody, and they are proud that Braydon has joined the ranks as a law enforcement officer.
“Every time he puts on that uniform and puts on that badge, he’ll remember his brother,” West Valley Police Deputy Chief Matt Elson said. “It’s an honor for us as a profession to have somebody who has lost so much be willing to give back.”
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