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Thomasville officers receive ‘Life Saving’ Award

Published: Nov. 1, 2020 at 12:05 PM EST|Updated: Nov. 2, 2020 at 2:23 PM EST
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TALLAHASSEE, Fla. (WCTV) - Two officers were honored for their heroic actions. Officer Jamil Gatlin and Corporal Brandon Kent with the Thomasville Police Department saved a man back in September who was wanting to end his life. Their quick work is now being recognized. These men in uniform say it is their duty to help others.

Back on September 14, Corporal Kent was on patrol when he was flagged down asked to help a man who thought he had no reason to live.

“He wouldn’t really go into it with me," Corporal Kent said. "I tried to make contact with him on Smith Avenue and that he sad we couldn’t stop him from doing what he was going to do that he was going to jump off the bridge.”

Instead of giving up, Corporal Kent decided to go at it alone. He says he sat next to the man on the train tracks.

“We had a heart to heart for thirty minutes and I was telling him if there was anything I can do, I was offering to do whatever he needed,” Kent said.

But it still was not enough.

That is when Officer Jamil Gatlin came into the picture.

“If you come at them like a police officer they are not going to trust you," Gatlin said, "so sometimes you have to get down to their level, and allow them to trust you, build that rapport with them.”

After conversation, understanding, and de-escalation, the man obliged and sought counsel at a local hospital. Weeks later, the duo received a ‘Life Saving’ Award. While the honor is appreciated, the real achievement? Officer Gatlin says it’s being able to help someone in need.

“It is just something we do every day and I don’t really think about it, it’s a part of my job, I enjoy doing it,” Gatlin said.

“That night was the achievement, him getting help was the ultimate goal," Kent said. "I got this job to help people, and we did that night, as a whole group we did that night.”

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