Amidst the three-day weekend traffic, a man stood on the outside of a chain link fence on the ledge of an overpass, threatening to jump. Two Albuquerque officers managed to save this man from himself by talking him down from the overpass of the busy freeway despite angry drivers encouraging him to kill himself.
The unidentified man refused to speak to any male officers, so Albuquerque Police Department sent two of their finest. Officers Brandi Madrid and Candace Bisagna spent three hours trying to help the unidentified man. Once on the scene, Madrid said, “I tried to stay as calm as I could, but to see someone hanging off a bridge, your stomach does drop, you feel that gut feeling.” Not letting the pressure get to her, she fell back on her training and eventually gained the man’s trust. Bisagna had previously dealt with the man in an earlier incident and wanted to use her familiarity to aid the situation.
They gave him their full attention, carefully listening to what he had to say. “The biggest thing is actually listening,” Madrid said. “He has a lot to say and a lot to express, so the main thing is taking it all in and listening to what he has to say.” However when they were finally making progress, frustrated motorists who were affected by the traffic would yell at the man to jump. “Just jump, just jump, just do it.” The officers would have to start all over again. Through the high-pressured situation, Madrid and Bisagna persevered and the man finally climbed over the fence and came down. He was taken to a hospital to be assessed and receive the mental care that he needed.
The biggest takeaway for the officers was that people can be cruel. For that, they offer some advice. “Be compassionate and show a little bit of empathy with his situation,” Bisagna said. “I mean he’s someone’s son, someone’s brother.”