GATES, NY (WROC) — Mental health and law enforcement have been major talking points the past number of weeks. In this week’s First Responders Spotlight, we look at two Gates Police Officers who intervened to save a person attempting suicide back in September.
On September 26, Sergeant James Coughlin and Sergeant Silvio Palermo were responding to a call of a girl who was cutting herself with two knives and threatening to kill herself inside a Gates home.
“We worked together talking to her, and after ten minutes, we persuaded her to put down the knives and we administered first aide until EMS arrived,” says Sgt. Coughlin.
Sgt. Palermo says this was not a singular case. Things like this are done by first responders, including police, every day. “Ultimately what we want is a peaceful resolution and we want to take our time and not rush into it and be able to develop that trust,” he says.
Sgt. Coughlin says most episodes like this are resolved without incident 99% of the time. “We have a lot of experience and training on this, dealing with mentally disturbed individuals.”
“Ultimately, she knew that we cared, and she agreed to go and get help,” says Sgt. Palermo.
Gates Police Chief James Vanbrederode says with a situation like this, compassion is key. He says whatever you might think, Police respond with that daily. “This is just another example of a successful resolution that nobody hears about, nobody sees,” he says.
Sgt. Palermo says the boxes from Dunkin were an excellent treat, but not needed. This is the job they signed up for. “This incident here is a great example of what our profession does every single day,” he says.
The Chief says the young girl has recovered and is doing well.