THOMASVILLE – Thomasville Mayor Greg Hobbs recently presented the prestigious Life Saving Award to two Thomasville Police Department officers. Corporal Brandon Kent and Officer Jamil Gatlin received their awards at the Oct. 12 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.”

According to TPD Assistant Chief Eric Hampton, all TPD officers receive 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,” he said. “We are proud to recognize these officers for their exceptional service on Sept. 14 that 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 that 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,” Harris said. “Kent did not allow the silence of the citizen to be a refusal for help. 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,” Kent said. “This incident gave us an opportunity to do that. 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.”

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.

“True heroes are caring, compassionate individuals who want to save lives absent any material gain or recognition,” Harris said. “Heroes exceed what is expected of them. They do not have hidden motives, and they are defined by the moments in which they are called upon to act. That is exactly what Kent and Gatlin did on Sept. 14. Thank you to both officers for your dedication to our citizens and community.”

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