Explorations in Policing, Faith and Life (With a hint of humor, product reviews, news and whatever catches my attention)

Monday, October 17, 2011

Catch Them Before They Fall

I was speaking with a friend of mine who is on a different department when he told me about this incident.

The construction of one of our State buildings is in the shape of a cylinder.  The offices, elevators and the stairwells are affixed to the inside edge of the cylinder leaving the entire center of the structure open from the roof  to the floor, approximately seventeen floors.

A distraught middle aged woman pulled a chair to the railing, climbed to the rail and jumped to her death, falling seventeen stories to the floor.  Her body remained intact, thou broken, but upon impact her skull split open and her brain slid two to three feet across the floor on the floor lubricated by her own cerebrospinal fluid.  It takes about four minutes to achieve cellular death due to oxygen starvation.  If her brain did not suffer massive structural damage and from what I was told it was totally intact with little to no sign of bleeding, she would have been conscious and aware sitting as only a brain on the tile floor for the four to six minutes till she passed.  A grim, to say the least, ending.

On her body was a note as to where her vehicle was parked, what to do at her apartment and who got her pets and personal property.  Her family and friends received the letter she sent prior to her jump, explaining her reasons for suicide and her hopes for their futures.

As a Police Officer you run into suicides in many forms, using many methods for many different reasons.  But in the final analysis they are all the same in the end.  It is a story about a depressed individual who soon becomes overwhelmed by their real or perceived problems, isolates themselves, erroneously believes their personal issues insurmountable and escapes in the only way they know how.

We need to catch them before they fall.  You know that friend/family member you had that you just somehow lost contact with?  Contact them, find out how they are doing, not over the phone, but in person.  Be brave, ask the real questions, have a relationship that goes deeper than the weather and sports.  Get them moving, get them in the shower, get them running on the street, take them to lunch, have them meet your friends.  Get them to the doctor, the hospital, have them meet some great firemen and Policemen (Trust me we all love alive people even if they do not want to see us-the dead ones tend not to do anything really fun).  Intervene, be someone's savior.  Give them Christ!  Before their last act is to sit dying on the tile-truly and permanently  isolated from us forever.

John 5:24
“Very truly I tell you, whoever hears my word and believes him who sent me has eternal life and will not be judged but has crossed over from death to life.

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