Law enforcement officers are challenged daily in the performance of their duties; they face each encounter freely and unselfishly while answering the call to duty. In certain instances, their actions warrant special attention from their respective departments. The Bulletin also wants to recognize those situations that transcend the normal rigors of the law enforcement profession.
One evening, the Atlantic City, New Jersey, Police Department (ACPD) received information about a man on a bridge threatening to commit suicide. Officers drove around looking for him, determining he was on top of a parking garage after they obtained a photograph he sent to his family.
Officer Eric Knuttel, a member of the department’s crisis negotiation team, located the man sitting on a ledge at the top of the garage. Officer Knuttel engaged him in conversation, attempting to convince the distraught man to step down from the ledge. After the officer spoke to him for 10 minutes, the man became extremely agitated, stood up, walked toward the ledge and yelled out. Officer Knuttel believed that he was going to jump and ran toward him, securing his leg. Officers rushed in, pulling both Officer Knuttel and the man from the ledge.
Officer Knuttel was assisted in this rescue by Officers Matthew Stollenwerk, Randy Rodriguez-Marte, Irwin Sanchez, Kyle Fauvell and Sergeant John Waddell.
“I am extremely proud of the bravery and compassion shown by Officer Knuttel and the other officers for this man who was in severe emotional distress. Their actions are indicative of the work routinely done by members of this police department,” said an interim officer in charge of the ACPD. “For years, the ACPD has taken a proactive approach when it comes to the mental health of our residents and visitors by partnering with social service organizations and providing training to our officers.”
Nominations for the Bulletin Notes should be based on either the rescue of one or more citizens or an arrest(s) made at unusual risk to an officer’s safety. Submissions should include a short write-up, a separate photograph of each nominee, and a letter from the department’s ranking officer endorsing the nomination. Submissions can be emailed to firstname.lastname@example.org.