The media often does a lousy job of showing the softer side of law enforcement. And this story is a perfect example of how our police are saving lives every single day.
On Wednesday night, the Chandler Police Department in Arizona released footage of a incident in March where a man’s life was saved (video below).
The 26-year-old man had climbed the railing on a pedestrian bridge over Highway 101 southwest of Phoenix.
He had stepped over the protective railing and was planning on jumping.
It’s dramatic body camera footage where you can see Officer Aaron Little talking with the man, asking him to climb back over the railing.
“I’ll hug you, man. I don’t care. I just want to talk to you. I swear,” Little can be heard saying.
After a while, the officer was able to eventually convince the man to climb back onto the bridge to get that embrace.
“Come give me that hug,” Little said. “I’m not going to do anything to you.”
The camera kept rolling during the embrace and the man can be heard crying.
Erica Chestnut-Ramirez is the Director of Crisis with Empact Suicide Prevention Center. She told the media the officer’s calm, casual demeanor and compassion were key in not escalating the situation.
“Being sympathetic, non-judgmental, calm, so the fact that the officer didn’t seem shocked by what the individual was doing, and maintained his distance from him,” she said.
On Wednesday, we brought you the story of another officer who saved lives in two incidents that barely went noticed in the media. It happened in Massillon, Ohio.
Patrolman Aaron Franklin had a busy day. So busy, in fact, that he tallied up a total of six people that he saved in his shift on Monday.
That’s when he rescued five juveniles from a drainage pipe and saved another man from a narcotics overdose.
So how come we barely heard about it?
Patrolman Franklin received almost no national media coverage, despite his heroic acts. So in honor of the men and women who keep the public safe and get zero recognition, we’re putting this together.
After about an hour into his shift, Franklin received a call about five teenagers that were trapped in a culvert as water rushed around them. When he arrived at the scene, a boy told Franklin that he was swimming with his friends when some of them got swept into the drain pipe that led the creek’s water into a larger river.
Franklin sprung into action. The water was moving very quickly and the officer could see some of the boys clinging onto the side of the waterway. As other emergency crews arrived, they were able to use a tether to wade into the water and secure the boys. Others were swept further downstream into the pipe where they were eventually rescued.
Franklin said water rescues aren’t something that they train for.
“It’s more making a split second decision of what I should do, what I can do and what am I going to do,” he said.
Franklin’s body cam caught the rescue on video.
After the boys were rescued from the culvert, they were looked at by paramedics and eventually reunited with their parents. Franklin got almost no chance to rest before he got another call.
Since so many emergency teams were tied up with the rescue, Franklin had to rush to the scene. There he found a man leaning over the wheel of the vehicle. The engine was still in gear.
Bystanders told the patrolman to hurry because the man was turning blue and seemingly not breathing. Franklin pulled the man out of the car and got him on his back. After making sure his airway was clear, he detected a pulse… but it was faint.
People standing nearby reportedly told the officer that the man was experiencing a heroin overdose. Franklin was the only one on scene. He turned to someone nearby and asked them to grab the Narcan kit out of his cruiser while another made sure the officer remained safe from oncoming traffic.
Franklin deployed the Narcan and after a few moments, the man’s pulse began to pick up and he became more alert. Paramedics arrived on scene and relieved Franklin. The man survived the scare.
“It wasn’t the first and it won’t be the last time I use Narcan,” the officer said. “But, it was the first time I’d administer it on somebody lying in an active roadway.”
Patrolman Franklin has been on the force for nearly four years. Prior to the force, he served the United States Army.
“My stance is every day in this line of work you show up and you never know what’s in store for you,” he said.
Six people are still breathing because of this unsung hero. Let’s make sure he gets the thanks he deserves.