February 9, 2024
Arkansas State Police (ASP) Troopers helped save the lives of two individuals facing dire mental health crises on Tuesday, February 6, 2024.
“I am extremely proud of how our Troopers use compassion and professionalism to help men and women grappling with mental health challenges,” said ASP Colonel Mike Hagar. “Making sure citizens in need know they are not alone is sometimes the most important part of a Trooper’s job.”
The Lawrence County Sheriff’s Office contacted ASP for assistance with a man who fled from officers before climbing onto a bridge railing and threatening to jump into the Black River beneath Highway 412 near Black Rock. Two off-duty Troopers responded to the scene and successfully persuaded the individual to climb down to safety and receive care and counseling.
In a separate incident the same evening, Troopers responded to assist a man in crisis who was threatening to jump into the Mississippi River from the Interstate 40 East bridge. In coordination with the Memphis Crisis Intervention Team, one Trooper established a rapport with the individual, allowing other Troopers to pull him off the ledge to safety.
All Troopers receive extensive mental health training, including the following courses: Encountering and Dealing with the Mentally Impaired; Behavioral Health and Crisis Intervention for Law Enforcement; and De-escalation.