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Albany resident wins Governor’s Public Safety Award

Gov. Deal presents award to Albany resident

Kelvin Hawkins, left, received a Governor’s Public Safety Award from Georgia Gov. Nathan Deal on Thursday. Hawkins was recognized for his part in preventing a man from jumping from an Albany overpass. (Special Photo)

Kelvin Hawkins, left, received a Governor’s Public Safety Award from Georgia Gov. Nathan Deal on Thursday. Hawkins was recognized for his part in preventing a man from jumping from an Albany overpass. (Special Photo)

ALBANY — An Albany resident is a recipient of a Governor’s Public Safety Award for 2013, officials say, for his role in 2012 of helping stop a man from jumping from a bridge onto Liberty Expressway.

The State Board of Pardons and Paroles announced that Cuthbert Chief Parole Officer Kelvin Hawkins received the award from Georgia Gov. Nathan Deal at a ceremony in Forsyth on Thursday.

State officials say on Dec. 11, 2012, Hawkins was in the field conducting business when he observed two Albany police officers trying to prevent a man from jumping from the Blaylock overpass to Liberty Expressway below. Acting quickly, Hawkins assisted the officers and began speaking encouragement to the man and ensuring him there were other options, officials said.

According to the parole board material, Hawkins promised to help the man if he would stop threatening to jump and also assisted the officers in physically pulling the man to safety and away from the overpass.

“I’m honored to receive (the award),” Hawkins said. “I’m honored without a doubt.”

“Chief Hawkins displayed the quick thinking and willingness to get involved that are traits our parole officers must have,” said Michael Nail, executive director for the State Board of Pardons and Paroles, in a statement. “He utilized his training and skills to help avert what could have been a tragedy. We’re all very proud of him and his actions.”

The Cuthbert office was closed in 2011, officials say, and the staff moved to the Albany Parole Office, where it continues to be managed by Hawkins. Hawkins has been an Albany resident since 1998, parole officials say.