Courtesy the Kent Police Department comes this great news about some “Top Cops” who serve “with compassion, making very smart choices during rapidly evolving critical incident, and saving a life:”
On Sunday, Jan. 31, 2021, several of our Officers were dispatched to a suicidal person in wooded area. They arrived quickly, and located a lone adult female, sitting on a downed tree, that leaned over a 15-18-foot embankment. The woman was very difficult to reach due to the ravine, the slipperiness of the tree and surrounding area. The female had tied a rope to the tree, and the other half of the rope to her neck. She was in immediate peril, and her intentions were clear.
Officers Blake & Lentz spoke with her first and noted that she was crying and shivering. She stated she could not or would not climb down from tree. Officer Blake noticed the rope around her neck, which was relayed to the other Officers in the area. They called for Fire to be on standby, and to bring a ladder and began to create contingency plans to prepare for whatever might happen next. Officer Ghaderi located a hatchet to cut the rope; he and other officers then waited below the woman with a plan to catch her and prop her up if she jumped before they could cut the rope.
They quickly came up with solutions to multiple scenarios and began to implement them immediately.
Officer Cortinas took over gently speaking to the woman, trying to convince her to come down, to not hurt herself and to get help. After about 20 minutes, he was able to convince her to let the Fire ladder be placed directly next to her. During the time she was engaged talking to Officer Cortinas, Officer Goforth quietly cut the rope, rendering it useless to harm her, so that now the biggest known danger to her was falling from the tree.
Keep in mind, at this point, they do not know if she has taken altering medication, if she is armed in some way, or if she has a backup plan that is unknown to them. They are in close quarters, gently trying to talk her into receiving help, and making plans to save her if they are not successful and she jumps.
The woman, who was still speaking to Officer Cortinas, eventually allowed Officer Lentz to climb the ladder that had been placed near her side. As he reached the top, he wrapped both his arms around her to keep her from falling off the tree. After a few more words, she consented to climb down the ladder and to seek help; she was given a harness which she put on and was assisted onto the ladder by Officer Lentz. She climbed down and received help from aid. She is safe.
Officer Cortinas provided her with his business cell number for her to call if she needed to talk in the future.
Our Officers care. You matter to them. Call 911 when you need us, and we will come. We will help.
If you are experiencing suicidal thoughts or if someone you know is in crisis, you can find additional resources here:
- National Suicide Prevention Line: 1-800-273-8255
- 24 Hour Crisis Line: 1-866-427-4747-Local 206-261-3222 https://www.crisisconnections.org/24-hour-crisis-line/