I received a call the other day of a female wanting to commit suicide. Knock! Knock !Knock! No answer at the door. Her car was out front, but the lights were off in her two story apartment. Hmmph. To leave or not to leave. My partner and I stayed around just a bit longer because we had a funny feeling. Creeeaakk! A noise around the side of the apartment caught our attention. We run around in time to see a female standing on the railing of the balcony. She is on the phone with someone and crying hysterically. She keeps lurching forward as if to jump off…
Disclosure: She was only about twenty feet off the ground, but if she jumped head first she could easily snap her neck on the hard root infested ground. If she just flung herself off she would probably break a lot of bones, but possibly live. Key word being “possibly”.
My partner stood underneath and tried to talk to her. The female seemed to be in a weird trance looking in the distance and saying “Just let me go, I can’t do this”. I quickly ran around the base of the balcony looking for a way up. Nothing! No stairs. No easily accessible climbing spots. All that was around was a small air conditioning unit on one side. I think, maybe I can get on that, jump to the base of the balcony, and shimmy up the railings. PSSSSHH! Not a chance! This female was so crazed she would definitely see me and most likely jump.
At that exact moment something weird happened. I looked up at the female and she stopped suddenly. Her eyes rolled in the back of her head and she fell backwards onto her balcony. There was a loud THUD! Then nothing. This was it. No time to debate. I ran to the AC unit. Stepped on it then jumped sideways towards the balcony. I was able to grab the base of the balcony with my fingers. No where for my feet to step I used both hands and climbed as fast as I could up the rails. Once at the top I started to climb over the railing. I looked at the female who was laying on her back. She started to wake and stand. Oh Crap! I quickly hopped the railing and grabbed her arms as she tried to essentially jump of the balcony. Luckily, I was able to place her in handcuffs and get her back downstairs (the proper way). The whole way she kept saying “Just let me go. Just let me go. No one cares” I looked her in the eyes and said “That’s not true. I care”.
I did not know this female. I have never met her in my life, but it was true. I did care. But why? My answer to her almost surprised myself. I cared? I thought about it later and I could not shake my answer. I did care. This lady obviously has been going through some terrible mental phases before I showed up. I may never understand what she was thinking at the time. But I cared. I may never see this woman again in my life. But I cared…But why?
It’s in our DNA. Don’t argue with that. We are all wired the same way. We care. No matter what we post on FB or Twitter or Instagram. We care. We might not all act on these impulses, but deep down…we care.
I thank God for allowing me to be a LEO. Why. Because apparently I care. I care about helping people. I care about those in need. I care about keeping my family, my friends, and my community safe.
I don’t want a medal. I don’t want a pat on the back or an Attaboy! I just want the other person to know, to believe, that I care. Life is too short and too cruel not to care. So my challenge to you all is simple. CARE. Take a couple seconds out of your day and care for the unfortunate. Care for that lady walking across the street. Care for that homeless guy who actually needs a bite to eat. Care for that kid who has no school supplies. Care for the old man who can’t take care of his own yard. Care for the kid posting suicidal messages on social media. Just care. You don’t have to be superman and scale burning buildings. Take one thing, one moment each day..and care.