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Life Saving Incident

February 27, 2022
Clark County

On Feb. 27, Officer Wattson was dispatched to an interstate overpass to a report of a suicidal man. He arrived to discover the man sitting on the overpass railing hanging onto a light pole, Chief of Police John Brooks said. At the same time, a call for a physical disturbance at a nearby apartment complex came in, Chief Brooks said. “Both calls required an urgent response, but Officer Wattson was the sole officer on duty at the time,” Chief Brooks said. The chief said Officer Wattson coordinated with a neighboring police agency so they could respond to the disturbance while he handled the suicidal individual. While organizing assistance from crisis response teams, Officer Wattson developed a rapport with the man. He learned the man had multiple life issues and said he had “nothing to live for,” Chief Brooks quoted. Officer Wattson was able to coax the man down and into the patrol car to relax, Chief Brooks said, offering the man food and water while they waited for medical services to arrive. “Officer Wattson’s kindness and compassion” convinced the man to voluntarily seek professional mental health assistance, Chief Brooks said, and he was transported to the hospital. Chief Brooks said Officer Wattson’s actions were recognized by Washington State Patrol Sgt. Joshua Merritt, who wrote to Brooks to express how impressed he was with one of his officers. “He did a great job and I would be highly confident in having him speak with anyone in a crisis situation,” said Chief Brooks as he read what Merritt wrote. Following the call at the overpass, Officer Wattson received information from the responders to the physical disturbance call which he then relayed to the oncoming police shift, Chief Brooks said. That information led to the arrest of someone wanted by U.S. Marshals on felony charges. “Officer Wattson’s training and years of experience allowed him to go above and beyond his normal duties by simultaneously (dealing with) two priority calls, coordinating multiple resources and ultimately saving the life of a citizen from suicide,” Chief Brooks said.

The history of law enforcement in the United States is a long and wonderful history of bravery. This website is dedicated to documenting the heroic deeds of law enforcement officers throughout the United States who have either given or risked their lives to save others. There are many stories of bravery and heroism for many who are considered first responders. However, it is those in law enforcement who are most likely to be the first to arrive upon a location requiring life saving acts engaging dangerous hostage takers, running into burning buildings/vehicles, providing first aid to seriously injured victims, saving near drowning victims and much more are what the women and men of law enforcement do routinely and at many times, great peril to their own safety.
It is our mission to document the history of lives saved by those dedicated women and men in law enforcement. To share with others the dramatic deeds of those individuals who are the first, first responders. It is so important for our citizens to understand that law "enforcement" is not always about enforcing the law but rather being there when our citizens need us.
It is to this end we are dedicated to promoting documentation regarding the history of law enforcement and the lives they have saved.