Farmville officers chief receive life saving commendation

Farmville town manager David Hodgkins presents officer Jason Spencer, center, and Chief Jeffery Spencer a commendation for saving a life.

FARMVILLE — Farmville Police Chief Jeffery Spencer and officer Jason Spencer have been honored for heroic efforts in the line of duty.

The brothers both received the special commendation of a life-saving award and pin during the Farmville Board of Commissioners meeting on June 7.

“This is the first time in the history of Farmville that I think this has ever been done,” Mayor John Moore said.

In April, officers were dispatched to a residential address in Farmville for a report of a man threatening to harm himself with a firearm. The residence was in a population area of the town and others were in their homes.

First to arrive on the scene, Jason Spencer approached the man on the back porch while maintaining a safe distance under cover. He began speaking with the man, whose finger was on the trigger of his weapon.

Jeffery Spencer was second on the scene and was able to successfully clear the residence and get bystanders out of the way while Jason Spencer continued to calm the man.

Due to high winds, communication between Jason Spencer and the man remained difficult, with Spencer having to yell to be heard.

Jeffery Spencer, then a major and interim chief, obtained the man’s cell phone number and tried to call him several times before he answered the telephone.

Communication continued for a time before it was lost then re-established. Through effective communication skills, Jeffery Spencer was able to convince the man to put down his weapon. Communication continued until he surrendered.

“Major Jeffrey Spencer and officer Jason both exhibited a calm demeanor that helped diffuse a tense situation that could have ended very tragically,” town manager David Hodgkins said.

“The subject was very distraught and could have done harm to himself, innocent bystanders and the responding officers had it not been for the skilled way the matter was handled by Major Spencer and Officer Spencer,” said town manager David Hodgkins.

Both Jeffery and Jason Spencer felt honored to receive the commendation.

“I was pleasantly surprised with this commendation. I would like to thank everyone involved with putting this together. I am also happy that the incident had a successful ending and we were able to get this gentleman the help that he needed,” Jeffery Spencer said.

In other board actions:

  • Commissioners passed their 2021-22 budget ordinance.
  • Approved a five-year contract with Suez Water Environmental Service Inc. to operate the town’s water treat
  • ment plant.
  • Heard from resident Steven Hardy Braz about the need to follow the American Disability Act, stating that newly installed or repaved roads and sidewalks require ADA accessibility. Hardy Braz recently learned of the requirement and wants to ensure the town is following it. He suggest more funding was needed in the public works department to cover additional ADA improvements to sidewalks and roads.

Contact Donna Marie Williams at dwilliams@ncweeklies.com.