The Florida Sheriffs Association (FSA) named Polk County Sheriff’s Office Detention Deputy Jonathan Bowman as the State’s 2012 Corrections Officer of the Year Award during its Mid-Winter Conference held in Jacksonville, January 15-18, 2012. The award was presented Tuesday, January 17, 2012.
On February 21, 2011, on his way back from a routine drop-off, Bowman noticed a 16-year-old girl standing on the cement barrier at the edge of a bridge overpass on the Polk Parkway looking down at the train tracks below. It appeared that the woman was going to jump and try to commit suicide. Bowman pulled over and immediately started a dialogue with her. Fellow detention deputy Allan Avila, in the van behind Bowman, also pulled over and approached the girl. Through their calm and professional demeanor, the deputies were successful in engaging in a dialogue with the girl. Using his Crisis Intervention Training, Bowman assessed that she had every intention of committing suicide. Meanwhile, Deputy Avila calmly asked the girl to step down off of the wall, and she did. Because of their actions, Deputies Avila and Bowman prevented the young woman from committing suicide.
FSA President Sheriff Ben Johnson, Executive Director Steve Casey, and Polk County Sheriff Grady Judd presented Bowman with the award.
“Jon Bowman is an outstanding member of our Sheriff’s Office family,” said Polk County Sheriff Grady Judd. “I am proud of his compassionate and committed service — we are so gratified that the Florida Sheriffs Association has chosen to honor him.”
"The Florida Sheriffs Association is proud of the excellent efforts of Sheriff Grady Judd and Deputy Jonathan Bowman,” Johnson said. “Polk County is a great example of how to focus on serving the community well, and this deputy earns our gratitude for putting his training into action to save a life."
33-year-old Jonathan Paul Bowman of Mulberry is a 9 ½ year veteran of the Polk County Sheriff’s Office. He has had numerous responsibilities in the Department of Detention as a Detention Deputy; he is currently assigned to the Transportation Section. As a part of his duties, he conducts long-distance inmate transports, and he has driven over 175,000 miles throughout Florida transporting prisoners between state and county detention facilities. In the absence of the Transportation Unit sergeant, Bowman is entrusted and often assigned as the officer in charge of the unit.
In 2010, Deputy Bowman raised $1,500 through a fundraising event he coordinated for the United Way. He is a committed family man, striving to be a role model to his two children, as well as the young men he mentors at his local church.