VPD officer talks man down from bridge

| January 25, 2016

VALDOSTA – On January 11, 2016 at approximately 0640 hours, Lieutenant Brent Johnson was dispatched to the James M. Beck overpass in the 400 block of S. Patterson Street in reference to a subject sitting on the edge of the bridge. Lieutenant Johnson made contact with the subject who was sitting on the west side of the bridge with their feet dangling over the ledge and threatening to jump off the bridge. Lieutenant Johnson began speaking with the subject in an attempt to keep the subject from harming themselves. After several minutes, the subject willingly came off of the ledge. The subject was sent to South Georgia Medical Center for evaluation where he later received treatment from a mental health professional.

You may recall that back in November 2015, Patrol Officer Jonathan Braddy was dispatched to the overpass in the 1800 block of Clay Road in reference to a subject sitting on the edge of the bridge. Upon Officer Braddy’s arrival, he found the subject sitting on the edge with their feet hanging over. The subject made comments about wanting to hurt themselves. Officer Braddy took the opportunity, when the subject looked away, to wrap his arms around the subject and restrain the subject.

The Valdosta Police Department Officers receive training regarding the mentally ill. Officers are trained on how to spot someone in crisis and trained on how to deal with persons in crisis. Valdosta Police Officers are trained to avoid force when dealing with this population, whenever possible. The above are just two examples of how the training the officers receive has saved lives.

“I am proud of both of these officers who displayed tremendous patience during tough situations. Lieutenant Johnson displayed great communication skills and developed a rapport with the subject to talk them out of hurting themselves. Officer Braddy, after trying to communicate with the individual and realizing that approach was not working, took the chance to subdue the subject before the subject could harm themselves. I am proud to say these officers work for the Valdosta Police Department”, said Chief Brian Childress.

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1 Comment on "VPD officer talks man down from bridge"

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  1. Barbara Yentzer says:

    Great job Officers!!!