Members of our Baytown Police Department make life-changing decisions regularly. Their jobs are challenging, so it’s important to honor their heroics as they make a difference in our community.
During last week’s City Council meeting, Police Chief John Stringer presented Officer Jeffery Spencer with a life-saving award for his efforts back in April. Officer Spencer was called to the Fred Hartman Bridge for a man who was reported being suicidal. When Spencer arrived, the man was on the railing with his feet dangling over the side. There is nothing easy about these calls, but Officer Spencer was ready to help this man.
A concerned citizen was there talking with the man who appeared to be having a mental health crisis. Officer Spencer joined the conversation and began asking the man to come back over the railing so they could talk some more.
Chief Stringer said, “I watched the video and Officer Spencer asked him several times. It was obvious as they continued to talk, the subject was beginning to make movements as if the subject was going to push himself over the bridge and end his life.”
Officer Spencer relied on his training and began closing the distance between him and the man. When he saw the right opportunity, Spencer grabbed the man and wrapped his arms around him, pulling him over the railing. This decision could have sent both of them over the bridge, but it was a decision Spencer was ready to make. The decision ultimately saved the man’s life. Officer Spencer’s heroic efforts bring a great credit to himself and the Baytown Police Department.
The man is currently receiving assistance, but if you know someone who is having suicidal thoughts or is under emotional distress, call the Baytown Police Department. You can also call the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline at 1-800-273-8255.