Savannah-Chatham Metropolitan Police engaged two suicidal individuals in the past four days and successfully brought them both to safety.
On Saturday, July 30, 2016 at approximately 12:45 a.m. two Downtown Precinct officers were patrolling on the Talmadge Bridge when they spotted a man standing on the bridge, looking down at the river with a distraught look on his face. APO Tony Farmer and APO Matthew Jackson approached the individual, started talking to him and developed a rapport with the man. A few minutes later other officers and emergency responders arrived to help.
After approximately 20 minutes of talking back and forth with the individual, who was then sitting on the edge of the bridge, with his leg handing off the side, officers made the decision to grab the man and safely get him on the ground and into an awaiting ambulance.
“I believe there was a reason we were on duty that night and made the decision to drive over the bridge. At the time we didn’t know what the reason was. Now I know were there for a reason, to help this man,” said APO Jackson.
On Tuesday, August 3, 2016 at approximately 4:20 p.m. two Downtown Precinct officers were dispatched to the Bryan Street Parking Garage in regards to a man on the ledge of the top floor of the garage. The man was visibly upset and was threatening to jump if anyone got too close. APO Christopher Ameduri was able to develop a rapport with the individual, and built trust by asking onlookers to back away and asking responding units to refrain from using lights and sirens. APO Ameduri was able to make a deal with the man, in exchange for a cigarette. Officer Justin Jenkins was successfully able to acquire cigarettes from a nearby kitchen worker and after receiving a cigarette, the individual climbed back over the wall to safety.
Other emergency personnel, including Savannah Fire and Emergency Services, responded. The man remained cooperative during the rest of the interaction, and he was transported to the hospital for further evaluation. The entire situation lasted approximately 20 minutes.
“We were there for him, we are here for anyone who need help,” said Officer Jenkins.
Chief of Police Joseph H. Lumpkin, Sr. said, “I am very proud of all these officers who daily perform heroically but whose actions do not come to the attention of our larger audience. These two incidents highlight how SCMPD personnel go above and beyond to help individuals in their greatest time of need. SCMPD personnel, too often for comfort, must put themselves in danger to help their fellow man. They should be praised.”