Peachtree City PD Awards Citation of Valor to Sgt. James Harris
Sgt. James Harris is a 15-year veteran of the law enforcement profession and has been employed with Peachtree City Police Department since 2014. He demonstrates the traits of an extremely competent and tactical officer. Complemented by his excellent verbal skills and patient and calm demeanor, he exemplifies the virtues of a superior law enforcement officer and stands out as an excellent leader. He was promoted in 2016 and leads a team of officers who consistently reach department goals and objectives.
Beyond the daily duties of a team supervisor, Harris is also a member of the department’s Special Response Team (SRT and SWAT). Harris is a committed SRT team member who takes an active role in bettering himself and those around him through the bi-monthly training opportunities he participates in during SWAT training. This is a voluntary role that requires personal sacrifice to maintain a state of mental and physical readiness while remaining flexible for call outs.
Since being employed with the Peachtree City Police Department, he has also requested and completed the Crisis Intervention Techniques Instructor course. This year he coordinated an offsite class that certified officers from surrounding agencies. During the planning phase, roof work was scheduled at the station so Harris coordinated with his local church to host the training course there instead.
Harris also requested and completed certification to be an agency firearms instructor and rifle instructor (one of only four in the department). His certification allowed him to assist in the continued training of all officers of the agency.
All of these extra duties require dedication and flexibility in both work and personal schedules. The level of physical and mental training can become exhausting, especially after a 12-hour night shift. Harris believes in the value to train beyond what is required by the agency and beyond the minimum standards set by the State of Georgia.
In early May of 2017, one of his new officers (just four weeks out of the Field Training Officer course) responded to a domestic disturbance call. The officer was confronted with an aggressive and disturbed citizen that had a shotgun pointed at the officer. The officer took cover behind his patrol car while sheltering the suspect’s wife and son. Harris arrived on scene and immediately assessed the situation. Upon seeing the danger the man was posing to his family and the officer, Harris attempted to verbally challenge the suspect in hopes of discouraging any further aggression. Instead, the suspect fired the shotgun in the direction of the officers.
Harris maintained his composure and a clear sight picture while under duress and fired one round from his patrol rifle, immediately stopping the threat. His ability to remain focused on the mission was invaluable to the protection of innocent lives. His actions earned him the Department’s Citation of Valor.
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