Arkansas 911 News

Press Release: Deputy Saves The Life Of Suicidal Inmate – GARLAND COUNTY

Press Release: GARLAND COUNTY SHERIFF’s DEPARTMENT (Sheriff Mike McCormick)

Sheriff McCormick was pleased to have Chief Deputy Elrod and Lt. Ansley present Deputy Austin Harrell with a life saving award today. Below is the letter of commendation he received from the Sheriff.

Letter of Commendation Life Saving Award

The Garland County Sheriffs Office believes in recognizing officers, their actions and outstanding efforts in service to our community and to their fellow officers. In keeping with this belief, the Garland County Sheriffs Office recognizes Deputy Austin Harrell for his outstanding efforts on November 6, 2018.

Deputy Austin Harrell

On Tuesday, November 6, 2018 at approximately 4:30 p.m., Deputy Harrell was making preparations to serve inmates their dinner. Once the meal service began, inmates on the mezzanine level were individually allowed to retrieve their meal from the lower level area. During this process, in inmate from Cell 210 displayed behaviors consistent with a desire to hang himself using a bed sheet. Deputy Harrell immediately rushed to the top of the stairs to stop this activity. The inmate jumped but the sheet was not securely tied to the railing and he was not injured. Upon landing without injury, the inmate ran up an adjacent stairwell and was successful in getting the end tied to the railing and jumping. Deputy Harrell was able to quickly and safely use his department issued 911 tool to cut the sheet. The inmate fell without injury and was released from the hospital later the same day.

Deputy Harrell’s recognition of the severity of the situation and his immediate action directly resulted in saving the life of a Garland County inmate. A failure to act or delayed reaction would likely have led to a tragic outcome. Therefore, Deputy Harrell’s actions qualify him for this Life Saving Award. Garland County and the Garland County Sheriffs Office bestow upon Deputy Harrell our sincere gratitude and appreciation for his heroic actions.


Sheriff Mike McCormick

Chief Deputy Elrod and Lieutenant Ansley present Deputy Austin Harrell with a life saving award.