When a suicidal man threatened to jump off a bridge, it was Milwaukee Police Sgt. James Bryce to the rescue. Now, the National Alliance for Mental Illness in Milwaukee will honor him publicly at a dinner tonight.
On May 10, 2012, a 23-year-old man was threatening to take his own life, and was clinging to an overpass, threatening to jump. Using his Crisis Intervention Training, Sgt. Bryce talked with the man about various subjects, including the man’s mother, who lives near the Center Street bridge, and the man’s child. Bryce said he wanted to learn as much as he could about the man, in order to convince him not to jump.
“One of the things I wanted to do was just keep talking to him. I tried to figure out why he was there, what brought him to that point, where he decided all that’s going wrong in my life, I gotta end it now,” Sgt. Bryce told Fox 6 News at the time.
During the hour the man stood on the bridge, occasionally smoking cigarettes, Sgt. Bryce spoke with him about his family. “To make him picture his children, so that he would think about his children and his children’s future, instead of jumping off a bridge,” Sgt. Bryce said.
The man told Sgt. Bryce he planned to run from the scene and even fight officers if necessary, yet the whole situation ended peacefully. The man climbed down from the bridge out onto an embankment and was taken into custody.
Sgt. Bryce, like so many officers who receive this valuable training, learn how to deal with people who are in mental health crisis. About 300 members of the Milwaukee Police Department have received this valuable training.