THOMASVILLE, Ga. (WALB) - Cpl. Brandon Kent and Officer Jamil Gatlin of the Thomasville Police Department (TPD) were recognized for making the best of a tense situation in September that’s credited with saving a distraught resident’s life.
TPD Assistant Chief Eric Hampton said all TPD officers get training in crisis intervention and de-escalation techniques.
“These two officers put their training into practice, using empathy and their personal life experiences to connect with a young man in crisis,” Hampton said. “We are proud to recognize these officers for their exceptional service on Sept. 14, which resulted in saving the life of a young man.”
TPD Maj. Shane Harris, who submitted the Life Saving Award nomination in support of Kent and Gatlin, said the joint effort and training skills applied by the officers played a key role in the lifesaving situation.
“Cpl. Kent applied his training, life skills, empathy, and spoke from his heart to persuade a citizen to let him help; pleading that together they would find a solution for the citizen. Kent did not allow the silence of the citizen to be a refusal for help.” Harris said, “After a half-hour of talking to the citizen, Kent asked Gatlin to step in. Officer Gatlin spoke with genuine care and related personal experiences when speaking with the citizen. Eventually, the young man agreed to go to the hospital with Gatlin.”
“I entered law enforcement because I wanted to help others in their time of need and make a difference in people’s lives. This incident gave us an opportunity to do that,” said Kent. “After the incident, a feeling of relief came over me and I am thankful that this incident ended in a positive way. I am hopeful that we made a lasting impact in the life of one of our citizens.”
Thomasville Mayor Greg Hobbs recently presented the prestigious Life Saving Award to the two officers. Kent and Gatlin got their awards at the Oct. 12 Thomasville City Council Meeting in recognition of their team effort in a lifesaving situation.
“I am humbled and honored by this opportunity to recognize Cpl. Kent and Officer Gatlin for their extraordinary actions that resulted in saving the life of one of our citizens on Sept. 14,” Hobbs said. “The City of Thomasville appreciates the physical and mental preparedness of all of our brave officers who keep our citizens safe on a daily basis.”
For Gatlin, making a difference in the life of a person is the main reason he joined the force.
“This is why I joined this profession, to make a difference, and to change the dynamic of someone’s life with a positive interaction,” he said.