The quick thinking and swift actions of recent Reinhardt University Police Academy graduate Officer Matt Akins saved a family of five. On July 1, 2015, Akins was on his way home from a shift at Carver College Police Department. He came around the Grady Curve and saw a red SUV on its side.
“I noticed that there were no first responders on the scene, and I didn’t know if anyone had called the accident in,” said Akins. “I stopped on the side of the interstate and ran up to the overturned car; I found a family of five trapped inside.”
Akins then tried to climb the vehicle to open the door from above, but the luggage rack collapsed and glass went through his hand. He went to the front of the vehicle and started talking to the family.”
“I told the family to remain calm and find something to shield them.”
“I noticed there were four children (ranging in ages 7-14) inside the car and the mother was pinned in the driver’s seat by the steering wheel. I told the family to remain calm and find something to shield them. I told them that I was going to bust out the front windshield and help get them out.”
Once the family was ready, Akins shattered the windshield with his baton. He helped each child out, one by one, and had them wait on the shoulder of the interstate behind a concrete wall.
“I talked to the mother and told her that I couldn’t get her out, but I had radioed and called into 911, and someone would be on the way to help her soon.”
Within a short time, Grady Hospital, Georgia State Patrol and Atlanta Fire showed up and helped free the woman out of the driver seat with the proper equipment.
Letter of Commendation for His Heroic Efforts
For his heroic efforts that day, Akins was recently awarded a letter of a commendation from Carver College Police Department, his employer, for his “selfless devotion to duty.” He credits the Reinhardt University Police Academy training for helping him know how to serve in a difficult situation.
“I remember Captain Black telling our class that we are always on duty,” he said. “We are required to stop and help if we come across an emergency where there is no help at that time. The instructors made it very clear that future law enforcement professionals need to help make a positive impact with the citizens we serve on and off duty.”
Many are Called, but Few are Chosen.
Akins is proud that he was able to graduate from the Reinhardt Police Academy and doesn’t take the significance of his position lightly.
“What I like most about being a police officer is being able to help the people that cannot help themselves,” Akins said. “This is a profession where many are called, but very few are chosen. And I’m honored to be a part of the law enforcement family.”
Intensive Academic and Skills-Based Training
Akins, along with 17 other students, were in Class 15-001 of Reinhardt University’s Police Academy. They underwent 20 weeks of intensive academic and skills-based training, which culminated in the award of Basic Peace Officer Certification through the Georgia P.O.S.T. Council. The newly certified officers from this May 2015 graduating class are now proudly serving their communities with various public safety agencies in the Metro Atlanta area.
“If anyone is thinking about becoming a law enforcement officer and want to receive some of the best training, I recommend the Reinhardt Police Academy,” he said. “I owe everything in my law enforcement career to the training I received from Captain Jeff Black, Director Trey Drawdy, and every instructor that came in to teach the students to make us what we are now.”
Applications for the next Police Academy cohort (Class 16-001) are being accepted. The class will run from January 11- May 26, 2016.
For more information about Reinhardt University’s Police Academy, visit www.reinhardt.edu/policeacademy or www.facebook.com/policeacademyatreinhardtuniversity or call Darcy Sibilsky, administrative assistant for the Reinhardt Police Academy, at 770-720-5925 or email DGS@reinhardt.edu