CIT In Action – Henry County Police Officer Khiry Thomas
Officer Thomas was scheduled to work the Saturday after the October 2015 CIT class. That Saturday was Halloween and Officer Thomas was patrolling the area of an apartment complex. At one point several people called for Officer Thomas to check on a disturbance at one of the buildings in the complex. When he arrived he found a male with a large butcher knife threatening to kill his wife. Officer Thomas used his newly acquired de-escalation skills effectively in talking to the male subject. After a few minutes, the subject put the knife down, was taken into custody and transported to Piedmont Henry Hospital.
The subject’s wife advised Officer Thomas that her husband was a Veteran who had recently returned from military duty in Afghanistan and was diagnosed with PTSD. The wife was not sure what to do and wanted to help her husband. Officer Thomas not only handled the situation but also recommended several resources for her and her husband. After talking to the Army Veteran at the hospital later, Officer Thomas not only found out information on where he served but found out that he himself had served in the same unit at the same time.
On April 20th, Officer Thomas was given a meritorious service medal at the Henry County Board of Commissioners meeting. Chief Keith Nichols gave high praise to Officer Thomas for his restraint and professionalism during the incident, as well as to the CIT program and the training that HCPD officers had received. On the night of the incident the wife of the individual thanked Officer Thomas for his patience and grace handling the situation. Officer Thomas thanked the CIT program for preparing him to handle these types of situations and to better assist families.