TUSCALOOSA, Ala. (WIAT) — Several Tuscaloosa Police Officers are receiving praise after helping save a man who threatened to jump from an overpass bridge Monday night on University Boulevard near DCH Regional Hospital.
Corporal Tre Brown was one of the officers who responded to the bridge.
“It’s always rewarding when these are the parts of our job when we get to serve the citizens of Tuscaloosa and actually make a difference. There’s still lots of people out there that need help and that’s why we wake up every day and put on the uniform and help as best as we can,” said Brown.
Although many are patting Brown and another officer on their backs for the quick actions, Brown says he was just doing his job and used his training.
“It teaches stuff we already know, how to be active listeners and how to listen to what people are saying and how to be empathetic. Just listening to people as a human being to folks who are in crisis and at that moment this is the most important thing to them.”
The Tuscaloosa Police Department has a number of officers who are on the department’s behavioral health unit. The Lt. Cmdr. Craig Parker says officers respond to mental health crisis calls every day and each officer receives intense training that helps them prepare for emergency calls.
“So our mental health officers are trained to deescalate a crisis whether that be a mental or suicidal call or a substance abuse crisis. So we go through a 40 hour block for a crisis intervention training the officers who dealt with this situation had further training.”
Parker says in 2021 officers responded to 942 mental health cases and they expect to handle more than 1,000 this year.