Officer and negotiator speaks on turning life-threatening situation into peaceful ending

Officer and negotiator speaks on turning life-threatening situation into peaceful ending

WHIGHAM, Ga. (WALB) - What could have been a fatal situation in Grady County last week ended peacefully.

Officer Ken Davidson told us living in a rural area, he hasn’t had to negotiate much, but it’s a sigh of relief each time they get through one successfully, and no one is hurt.

”You want the individual to realize that this is not the end of it. What they’re doing is a permanent solution to a temporary problem,” said Officer Davidson.

One of Southern Regional Tech’s on-campus police officers is also a negotiator with the Decatur County Sheriff’s Office.

In law enforcement for around 12 years, Officer Davidson said he’s now helped in three life-threatening negotiations.

He told us how he was feeling as he prepared for the most recent one, a possible suicide situation in Grady County.

Officer Ken Davidson, Decatur Co. Sheriff's Office, SRTC On-Campus Officer
Officer Ken Davidson, Decatur Co. Sheriff's Office, SRTC On-Campus Officer (Source: WALB)

“Nervous. Very nervous. This particular incident, I wasn’t sure at any point until the very end that this person was going to take their life. I thought they might take their life at any moment,” explained Officer Davidson.

Officer Davidson said during his training, one of the points he was taught is to get the person to look at the brighter side of things and get their mind out of the moment.

“One of the illustrations I’ve heard is letting the air out of the balloon. If they’re excited and overwhelmed, let them blow off some of that steam, yell, do what they need to do, so that then they can talk,” Officer Davidson told us.

Taking the time to listen and hear what the person has to say is something he said is a big part of getting everyone through a situation like this.

Officer Davidson told us he had to get personal in this particular situation.

“I talked about his children, and told him how they’re going to need him later. The children are going to need him to teach them things as a father. This situation didn’t have to be the end, that you could walk out of this and be a productive citizen, and all this could be okay,” said Officer Davidson.

Officer Davidson said he just focuses on saying the right things in any negotiation.

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