LOUISVILLE, Ky. — Two Louisville Metro Police Officers lent a hand last month, to lift a life off the ledge.
“It felt like I had been standing up there for hours and just hoping that she could take my hand,” said Officer Nicholas Ulery with the 7th Division.
The first call of the day came in for Officer Ulery and Officer Natasha Sydnor at 7:45 a.m. on a Thursday morning in January.
“There's somebody on the expressway,” Ulery said. “That's not an uncommon call to get for us, but then calls kept coming in, coming in.”
He was sent to the Interstate-265 overpass on Bardstown Road. Driving from across town, he arrived within eight minutes to find a woman hanging over the rail.
“Actually seeing somebody sitting with their feet over the edge and just kind of sitting there and obviously distraught, having a tough time... wasn't really fully expecting to see that,” he told WHAS11 News.
Body camera video lets you hear their interaction. He asked her name and told her ‘I’m here to help you, okay? I’m worried about you.”
At one point he said: “You make me a little nervous with you sitting over there, will you come over here and talk?”
It wasn’t long before Sydnor showed up.
“She was extremely hysterical. Crying, sobbing, at the lowest point that a person could be from our standpoint,” she explained.
After a few moments, trust was gained, then given.
Officer Ulery reached out his hand several times before she grabbed it, holding onto the help who gave her hope, and swung her legs over to safety.
“A sigh of relief. First step towards improvement. First step towards getting her some help,” Sydnor said.
Officer Ulery put her in the back of his cruiser and brought her to the hospital.
It was the last time either officer would see or hear from her.
“We get so many of these, honestly, throughout the work week,” Officer Sydnor said. “It’s not uncommon for us to get one a day, two a day, three a day.”
LMPD responds to more than 3,000 crisis calls a year. In 2018, 102 people took their own lives.
Officers Ulery and Sydnor were pleased to prevent at least one more.
“That’s what we're here for,” Officer Ulery said.
If you or a loved one has thoughts of suicide, there is someone available to talk.
Call the National Suicide Prevention Hotline at 1-800-273-8255. Help is available 24 hours a day, every day.