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SPOG Officer of the Month

From the Seattle Police Officer’s Guild (SPOG):

The Officer of the Month for October 2011 is Officer Erik Warner from the West Precinct Community Police Team and Officer Kevin O’Neill from the Traffic Division, as nominated by Officer Randy Robinson for their actions during a recent suicide attempt by a distraught female.

On September 9, 2011, at about 1130 hrs Officer O’Neill was monitoring traffic and working Lidar in the area of the Magnolia Bridge. Radio broadcast a call regarding a suspicious female standing on the bridge for an extremely long time; possible thinking about jumping off.  A west Precinct unit advised radio that the bridge appeared to be clear of any pedestrians, with exception of a couple who were taking pictures of the scenery.  Officer O’Neill, being in the area, decided to make a pass over the bridge and check the area as well.  Officer O’Neill advised radio he saw the couple taking pictures but also came upon a female standing on the opposite side of the bridge.  Officer O’Neill stopped and advised the female to move along off the bridge and she complied.  Sensing something more than just a person taking in the view, Officer O’Neill parked his car and approached the female. Officer O’Neill, not being shy, started to engage the female in conversation to which she simply shrugged her shoulders and didn’t say a word after numerous questions were asked. Moments later, Officer Warner arrived to assist Officer O’Neill.  Radio gave the description of the woman reportedly hanging out on the bridge and it matched the female the officers had stopped.  Officer O’Neill asked for ID from the female and reached for her purse. Feeling somewhat leery of the female, Officer O’Neill took the purse and handed it to Officer Warner. When Officer Warner looked into the top of the purse, he noticed a suicide note lying unfolded.  As soon as Officer Warner saw the note the woman collapsed into Officer O’Neill’s arms and became very emotional and explained her situation to the officers.

The female was transported to Swedish Hospital for evaluation. Officer Robinson said, “Had it not been for the two Officers going the extra step and contacting this person, I feel that as soon as they had departed she would have jumped.  If Officer O’Neill simply yelled at her to get off the bridge and Officer Warner did not arrive on scene, there could have been a much different ending to this.  Both went the extra step and it paid off with them saving a life!”

As Officers of The Month, the Help The Officer Fund will receive the $250.00 donation from the Seattle Metropolitan Credit Union.