Nash County deputy honored for service
BY LINDELL JOHN KAY
Friday, December 7, 2018
A Nash County deputy has been recognized for his life-saving compassionate community service.
Sgt. Scott Bass was recognized as Deputy of the Year earlier this week by the Nash County Board of Commissioners. Bass has convinced suicidal gunmen to surrender without violence and appeared on national television for helping a woman find a quicker way to work than walking, often in inclement weather.
Employed with the county since 2010, Bass has served primarily in the Patrol Division and was promoted to sergeant last year.
During the short ceremony to recognize Bass, Chief Deputy Brandon Medina described him as being kind and compassionate with a very generous heart.
Bass' heroism and care for the people he serves as a deputy has been repeatedly demonstrated by his actions.
In 2017, Bass and other deputies responded to the call of a missing and possibly suicidal person.
A high-ranking member of the military, the missing man was located down a secluded path. He was armed. Bass began to reason with the man and ordered the other deputies to fall back, putting himself between a suicidal man with a gun and his fellow law enforcement officers.
Another time in 2017, Bass, while in Raleigh attending specialized training, ate lunch with a friend.
After leaving the restaurant, Bass was about to pull away in his marked patrol car when a man ran up and said a business was being robbed.
"Without hesitation, Sgt. Bass responded to the business and apprehended the suspect, holding him until proper authorities arrived," Medina said.
In February, Bass responded to a call for service where he again spoke with a military veteran who was having a hard time coping with life.
"Being a veteran himself, Sgt. Bass was empathetic and provided the necessary assistance as soon as he recognized that he was dealing with someone suffering from severe mental distress," Medina said.
The veteran later praised Bass, telling authorities he was profoundly moved by the sergeant's gentleness and kindness.
“If it weren’t for Sgt. Bass, I probably would have killed myself,” the veteran said, according to reports.
In March, the Sheriff’s Office responded to a call of a suicidal person armed with several weapons and possibly holding hostages. The man told 911 dispatchers that he had a gun and was going to shoot three deputies before being shot himself.
When Bass arrived, the man came outside with his hand behind his back as if he was holding a weapon.
Bass began speaking with the man. When crisis negotiators arrived on scene, they didn't interfere because Bass' efforts were being successful, Medina said.
"Sgt. Bass was extremely effective in his communication skills, convincing the man to show his hands and be taken into custody peacefully," Medina said. "Sgt. Bass once again put himself between a suicidal man with a gun and his fellow law enforcement officers."
Bass' compassion extends beyond emergency situations.
Bass would often see a woman walking from her home in Rocky Mount to her job in Nashville, rain or shine. Bass recognized the woman from a local restaurant and asked if she wanted a ride to work.
Bass and the woman, Jalesya Corbett, became friends. Bass would often give her a ride to work. When he wasn’t able, he would ask other deputies to look out for her and give her a ride as she was walking a dozen miles each day.
Bass contacted the Nashville Walmart and asked the manager for help. The store donated a bicycle to help her with her long commute.
"Sgt. Bass’ compassion made a positive impact on the Nash County Sheriff’s Office," Medina said. "With that gesture, he was ultimately able to have a voice for all law enforcement officers by being invited to 'The Steve Harvey Show.'"
By sharing the story with Harvey on his nationally-televised talk show, Bass was able to help bridge the gap between communities and the law enforcement officers that serve them, Medina said.
“I wanted to help Jalesya because she walks six miles to work every day regardless of the temperature, rain or shine, stands on her feet during her entire shift, and walks six miles back home in the same conditions — and that is truly admirable," Bass said. "I‘ve had the opportunity to get to know her and wanted to somehow lessen her burden of that 12-mile round trip walk.”
Medina said through his selfless service and dedication to the residents of Nash County as well as his fellow deputies, Bass is an exemplary employee, a role model and the epitome of the sheriff's core values of honor, compassion and diligence.
"His actions cannot be measured on a scale but can be felt nationwide due to the positive ripple effect they will have for all law enforcement officers, especially those of us in Nash County," Medina said.