By John Schaffner
Fulton County Sheriff’s Deputy Vivian Dixon-Bradford knew her supervisor was taking her to lunch July 23, but she didn’t know where or why until her name was called as one of three recipients of the Buckhead Business Association’s Officer of the Quarter awards. The reason for her receiving the award brought tears to the officer, who had calmly acted to save the life of a young woman who was attempting suicide.
Following tradition, the Buckhead Business Association (BBA) honored the three Officer of the Quarter award recipients — representing the Atlanta Fire Rescue Department, Zone 2 of the Atlanta Police Department and the Fulton County Sheriff’s Department — for their service to the Buckhead community during a luncheon at 103 West. Atlanta Mayor Shirley Franklin was the main speaker for the quarterly luncheon meeting.
Besides Bradford, the recipients this quarter were Capt. Mark L. Hattalla of Atlanta Fire Rescue Station 26 in Buckhead and Zone 2 police Officer Kelvin Walls.
In the early hours of July 8, Bradford was working her overnight shift in the Court Services Division when she answered an emergency call from an upset mother in Florida. The mother was pleading for help for her daughter in Atlanta, who had e-mailed the mother a suicide note. The mother had not been able to reach her daughter after receiving the note.
The deputy stayed on the telephone with the mother in Florida while making contact with an Atlanta 911 dispatcher. The dispatcher sent two units to the daughter’s home, along with an emergency medical team.
When the young woman did not answer the door, officers entered the home, and the daughter was unconscious when the emergency medical technicians reached her. She was taken to a hospital for treatment.
Later that morning, the mother called Bradford to update her on the daughter’s condition and thank her.
Walls is an 11-year veteran assigned to the Zone 2 Impact Team at the Lenox Substation. On July 9 he observed two males chasing another male in the driveway of Piedmont Hospital and ascertained that one of the males had been assaulted and robbed while waiting at a bus stop. Walls joined the chase and caught the suspect, who turned out to be a repeat criminal.
Hattalla has been with the department since June 1984 and is a battalion instructor “who has worked diligently to improve the knowledge and skill set of the personnel assigned to Station 26” as well as other Buckhead stations “to maintain a high level of readiness through training.”
Franklin thanked the officers for their efforts and mentioned in her speech how important it is for the city to maintain close cooperation between public service departments and business owners.
“We are extremely proud of our Buckhead heroes,” said Elizabeth Gill, the president of the BBA. “Each one of these officers has contributed individually, as well as part of his or her unit, to the safety of Buckhead’s residents and business owners alike.”