An Alabama school resource officer is being lauded as a hero for saving a choking baby’s life at a middle school basketball tournament earlier this month.
“I’ve known Officer Bearden for the last 20 years,” Albertville High School Principal Jordan Phillips told WHNT of the hero school resource officer. “He was a former student of mine at Crossville High School when I taught there. I’m just proud of the guy and everything he does for our school. It just shows you how education is so small as a community. We’ve come full circle to where he was my student and now we work together.”
Jonathon Bearden is a school resource officer at Albertville High School and was attending a basketball tournament at the local middle school last weekend when a mother rushed up to him while holding her choking baby, WHNT reported.
“I look up and a lady is just running from the bleachers, holding her baby out in front of her,” Bearden told the outlet. “She’s saying, ‘He’s not breathing, he’s not breathing.’ I don’t know if dad mode… cop mode… first responder mode kicked in, but I took him from her and flipped him over, started some back blows, tilted him down.”
Bearden said he has previously administered CPR to seniors and adults, but doing CPR on a child was “a first.” He is the father of two children and said “as a dad you kind of, in your mind, know that you might have to do it … so I just did what I was trained to do.”
“I heard a little cough, and then he started crying and I said, ‘If we’re crying, we’re breathing!'” Bearden recounted.
Bearden told WHNT that he has been in contact with the family of the baby, and that the young child was released from the hospital earlier this month and is in good condition. A Facebook post written by a witness of the scene and shared by the Albertville Police Department said the baby was reportedly born premature.
Principal Phillips said Bearden’s actions sum up the job SROs carry out while protecting kids at schools.
“I think it shows what the job is really about,” Phillips added. “Police sometimes get a bad rep and unrightfully so, and those guys are here to serve and protect. Officer Bearden showed that.”
To Bearden, however, he doesn’t want to be under the spotlight and instead wants to highlight “the police and what we do every day.”
“I think the role we play in the school environment is crucial,” Bearden said. “I think what we do every day is almost as important as, maybe CPR, or anything. I don’t like the spotlight. Some people have called me and said you’re my hero… and I’m like no man. It’s just – the kids call it ‘the ick’ nowadays. I’m just trying to shine a good light on the police and what we do every day.”
Fox News Digital reached out to Albertville school officials but did not receive a response by time of publication.