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Officer Justin GatlinCorporal Brandon KentThomasville 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 October 12th City Council Meeting in recognition of their team effort in a lifesaving situation.

“I am humbled and honored by this opportunity to recognize Corporal Kent and Officer Gatlin for their extraordinary actions that resulted in saving the life of one of our citizens on September 14th,” said Mayor Hobbs. “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 September 14th which resulted in saving the life of a young man.”

TPD Major Shane Harris, who submitted the Life Saving Award nomination in support of Kent and Gatlin, states that the joint effort and training skills applied by the officers played a key role in the lifesaving situation. “Corporal 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 added, “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.”

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.

“True heroes are caring, compassionate individuals who want to save lives absent any material gain or recognition,” said Harris. “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 September 14th. Thank you to both officers for your dedication to our citizens and community.”


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