Officers with the Lawrence Police Department this week were able to prevent a woman from taking her own life.
Police were called to the Kansas River Bridge in the 500 block of Vermont Street on reports of a woman standing outside the railing. Responding officers made contact with the woman, who made statement indicating that she was suicidal.
Department spokeswoman Sgt. Amy Rhoads says Officer Leo Souders, a 19-year veteran of the force, was able to secure the woman. Officer John Pien, with the help of an unnamed citizen, pulled her over the railing.
Pien has been with the department for three years.
Rhoads says the department would like to publicly thank the citizens who stepped in to help police in the life-threatening situation. She also credits the officers for staying calm and collected during the rescue.
“The department works hard to make sure our officers are well-trained in crisis prevention,” Rhoads told WIBW News Now. “And to see that training go into effect during this incident was pretty great to watch.”
The department urges anyone who may be experiencing suicidal thoughts to reach out to mental health agencies in their community.
“There are a lot of people in our community and those across Kansas who are dealing with some sort of crisis; mental health related or not,” Rhoads said. “If you’re having thoughts of harming or self or someone else, it’s important to seek help. There are a lot of avenues you can take – local mental health providers, the hospital, the police department -there are a lot of different places you can go for help.”
**Updated to include comments from Lawrence Police Sgt. Amy Rhoads**
The video from the scene is shared with permission from the Lawrence Police Department. Portions of the audio and video have been edited to protect the woman’s identity. Viewer discretion is advised.