Kalamazoo Police Officers Receives Donated All-Terrain Wheelchair


Defender Mobility and the Police Officers Association of Michigan have donated their 44th TracFab wheelchair to a veteran Kalamazoo Public Safety Department police officer after the 2023 Annual Convention on Friday, May 26 in Plainwell, Michigan. This donation to Tom Maher, a non-POAM member department, is a landmark event for the union and charity upon its twelfth year of gifting mobility aids to disabled veterans and police officers – no matter their union or department affiliation.

Everyone who gave to this project can be very proud of their efforts. I thank each of them for trusting us to carry their message. I had the honor of meeting Tom Maher and his wife, Jackie on May 26th. So many generous people contribute to Defender Mobility and rely on me and Ed Humpert to provide instant freedom with a brand-new Trac Fab chair.

Tom was on his patrol motorcycle and traveling to work when he was struck by a driver going in the opposite direction. He was thrown a great distance from his bike and the wreck caused him to lose his left leg and become paralyzed at his waist. He is a Kalamazoo Public Safety Officer. Surrounded by talented friends, they built walkways and moved walls in their home before he was released from the hospital. Photographed are several of his closest pals. They are all prepared to accompany him back to the hunting grounds that they have played in together for years! Now he can ride back that 1,500 foot path he used to walk on.

He also said it will allow him to accompany his son to the bus stop on the rural road that is several hundred winding feet from their front door. A great guy surrounded by so many great friends. They were as happy as he was! There’s still some real “love” among these public safety officers. To all of you who help me on these projects, you did GOOD! Thanks for trusting me to get it done. I am blessed.”

Jim Tignanelli, POAM President and founder of Defender Mobility Foundation.

Sgt. Nathan Garnaat of the Kalamazoo Public Safety Department told Kalamazoo Gazette/MLive, “Tom is very grateful that God saved his life and he is here to still be a husband, and a father and a friend.”

As a fellow brother of the law enforcement community, POAM and Defender Mobility saw it was their duty to gift Tom with a free all-terrain TracFab wheelchair, allowing him to return to the great outdoors with his family. Learn more about the charitable work POAM and Defender Mobility do together for disabled veterans and law enforcement officers online.


Defender Mobility is a 501(c)3 non-profit organization determined to change the future of our disabled veterans and law enforcement officials who served with bravery and honor, especially those resulting in the loss of mobility on or off the clock. Defender Mobility is funded through donations to give heroes back their freedom with TracFab, all-terrain wheelchairs – as they have selflessly protected ours – one chair at a time. If you want to support the continued efforts to restore mobility to selfless American heroes to regain their freedom, please consider donating onlineto the Defender Mobility wheelchair donation fund.

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