At their core, public health and law enforcement may seem poles apart. But in Mr. Philip Hudson’s experience, the level of overlap between the two fields is surprising.
Mr. Hudson, a former police detective who’s pursuing his master’s in public health at Georgia State University School of Public Health, aims to continue a career of saving lives with insights gained from his road safety research.
Looking back on seven years with the metro Atlanta police department, he recalls the time he talked a suicidal man out of cutting his own throat with a knife, stalling for time while waiting for fellow officers to arrive and subdue the man.
There are the two years he spent interviewing victims of childhood sexual abuse, carefully asking them to share traumatic details and documenting the evidence needed for their stories to be told in court.
He’s lost count of all the grave injuries and fatalities he’s responded to on the highways.
“A lot of law enforcement really overlaps with public health work,” said Mr. Hudson, 35. “We were regularly dealing with those people who have substance abuse issues and consequences of that in their life. Suicidality was a major concern, child welfare, maltreatment, mortality. Law enforcement is going to be the first one on the scene when the emergency call comes out.”
Mr. Hudson, who earned a bachelor’s degree in psychology from Georgia State University, has always been interested in work that involves helping others. After spending two years teaching English in China, he decided to follow his father into law enforcement.
“It’s something not in an office, but you’re still out there doing something that benefits society as a whole,” he said.
Learn more about Mr. Hudson.Tags: Friday Letter Submission, Publish on June 14