By Erin Bell

On May 15, 2024, SRO Jamie Patterson came to the rescue of fifth grader Bryson Bagwell in the cafeteria of Oakmont Elementary. 


Patterson was setting up chairs for a Drug Abuse Resistance Education (DARE) graduation when Bagwell approached him along with cafeteria monitor, Teresa Shelton. 


When Bagwell approached Patterson, he appeared to be choking. Patterson struck Bagwell several times in the upper back and when that was unsuccessful, he performed the Heimlich Maneuver until Bagwell could breathe again. 


“Bryson seemed to be in a panic and was putting his hands around his neck,” Patterson reported. “Mrs. Teresa asked Bryson if he was ok and he continued to act panicked, waving his hands around his neck area but not speaking.” 



Afterward, Patterson contacted the School Nurse over the radio, and she reported that Bryson was laughing and eating a Gusher when the candy got stuck in his throat. 

“We are so glad that once again one of our SROs was in a position to use his training to help a student who could have faced a life-threatening situation,” said Lt. Jessica Blackwell, one of the city’s first School Resource Officer who now directs the SRO program. 

Patterson has been a part of the Dickson Police Department since December 2018 and has served as an SRO at Dickson Elementary School, Sullivan Central Elementary School, and Oakmont Elementary. 

This is the second SRO to be recognized for helping a choking student. On February 20, 2024, SRO Tabitha Jennette was recognized for performing the Heimlich maneuver at Centennial Elementary School. 

Erin Bell is originally from Chattanooga, Tennessee, but she currently attends Austin Peay State University. There she studies Professional Communications and is involved in multiple student organizations. She is also a member of Zeta Phi Beta Sorority, Incorporated.