If you ask many police officers what they do all day, they will likely answer, "protect and serve." This may sound simple enough, but after listening to some of their stories - like those my father would tell - you may gain a new appreciation for the phrase. For most of our public servants, the word "protect" has a much bigger definition than just keeping us safe from bad guys.
I can tell you personally that kind words from officers protect our children in moments of fear and uncertainty. Just their presence is often enough to protect those in need from worry, and their compassion and training can help protect the lives of those who may seek to do themselves harm. Such is the case of Officers Brandi Madrid and Candace Bisagna.
When a suicidal man climbed over the protective fencing on an overpass off Interstate 40 in Albuquerque, New Mexico, Officer Madrid was first on the scene. Though she is a three year veteran of the police force, this was the first time she found herself protecting a life in such a way. She spent the next two hours talking to the man about his family, what had upset him, and why he had decided to crawl out onto the overpass.
“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.”
Heading into the third hour of the ordeal, Officer Bisagna arrived to help. The man had stated he did not trust male officers, so she entered the scene to offer support. She noted that about one month prior, she had helped the same man down from another bridge. Her concern is that this individual may attempt this dangerous act again.
Through it all, both officers stayed calm and protected the gentleman from his own harmful thoughts, a job not made easier by some drivers. The officers heard frustrated drivers telling the man to jump, and knew he heard it too. This led to several points where the trust had to be rebuilt. Brandi and Candace have a message for all drivers in a situation such as this:
“Be compassionate and show a little bit of empathy with his situation. I mean he’s someone’s son, someone’s brother.”
Be sure to SHARE this amazing story of compassion and pass on the message to your friends and family.