LOCAL NEWS

Body cam video shows police officers save man’s life during mental health crisis

Mar 1, 2024, 6:06 PM | Updated: 7:26 pm

Helping people who are suffering from mental health problems has become a big part of a police officer’s job.

“It’s constant,” Salt Lake City police officer Bridger Prince said.

Recently released body camera footage showed an incident from last year involving a man hanging off the edge of a parking garage at the corner of North Temple and 400 West.

SLCPD officers noticing the man sitting on the parking garage ledge. (The Salt Lake City Police Department)

The responding officers said the man was threatening to let go.

“I absolutely believe he was going to do it. One hundred percent,” Prince said.

Prince was one of three Salt Lake City police officers who ran to the top of the parking garage that day. They knew they had to do something fast.

“In my mind, it was life or death. So, for me, it was a no-brainer,” officer Ben Schriver said.

The three officers watching the replay of the video.

The three officers watching the replay of the video. (KSL TV)

They rushed to the man, and just as they grabbed his arms, they said he let go. 

“If you have ever had to hold 200 pounds of dead weight, it is extremely difficult,” Prince said.

SLCPD officers reaching to grab the man from the parking garage ledge. (The Salt Lake City Police Department)

It took all three officers to pull him up, but they did it.

“We just Supermaned the strength from wherever, and we were able to get him back over the edge, but it was that close,” Prince said.

The man was having a mental health crisis. It is not always a parking garage, but police say mental health calls involving suicidal concerns have become almost common.

“You have a thousand incidents like that over a year, so it kind of just becomes routine, in a way,” Schriver said. “It is a bad word to use, but it kind of does become, ‘that is what we do.'”

Body cam still of rescue

SLCPD officers pulling the the man off the parking garage ledge. (The Salt Lake City Police Department)

Even if it does feel routine, Schriver said with any call, there is no way he could just let someone die.

“Not at all. No. No,” he said. “It is the main reason why I became a police officer, is to help people and it was the most visceral way of being able to help someone.”

Just a few weeks ago, officers Prince, Schriver, and Dalton Hatch were awarded a medal for saving that man’s life.

However, they say the best award was knowing they made a difference.

“You feel just an overwhelming sense of accomplishment like you actually affected change,” Prince said. “Again, the reason a lot of people become cops is they want to affect change, and I feel like we did it that day.”

 


 

If you or someone you know is experiencing suicidal thoughts or exhibiting warning signs, call, text, or chat the 988 Suicide and Crisis Lifeline at 988 which is answered 24/7/365 by crisis counselors at the Huntsman Mental Health Institute. All calls to legacy crisis hotlines, including the old National Suicide Prevention hotline, 1-800-273-8255, will also connect to a crisis care worker at the Huntsman Mental Health Institute as well.

Additional resources

  • SafeUT: Parents, students, and educators can connect with a licensed crisis counselor through chat by downloading the SafeUT app or by calling 833-3SAFEUT (833-372-3388)
  • SafeUT Frontline: First responders, including firefighters, law enforcement, EMS, and healthcare professionals can chat with a licensed crisis counselor at no cost 24/7/365 by downloading the SafeUT Frontline app.
  • SafeUTNG: Members of the National Guard can chat with a licensed crisis counselor at no cost 24/7/365 by downloading the SafeUTNG app.
  • Utah Warm Line: For non-crisis situations, when you need a listening ear as you heal and recover from a personal struggle, call 1-833 SPEAKUT 8:00 a.m.-11:00 p.m., 7 days a week, 365 days a year.
  • The Huntsman Mental Health Institute offers a wide variety of programs and services including suicide prevention and crisis services, hospital treatment, therapy & medication management, substance Use & addiction recovery, child & teen programs, and maternal mental health services including birth trauma, pregnancy loss, infertility, and perinatal mood and anxiety disorders.
  • LiveOnUtah.org is a statewide effort to prevent suicide by promoting education, providing resources, and changing Utah’s culture around suicide and mental health. They offer resources for faith based groups, LGBTQ+, youth, employers, firearm suicide prevention, and crisis and treatment options.

Counties in Utah provide services for mental health and substance use disorders. Centers are run by the thirteen Local Mental Health and Substance Use Authorities all across the state and offer therapy, substance use disorder treatment, support groups, mobile services, youth treatment, and more.

These resources and more information can be found here: https://www.uacnet.org/behavioralhealth.

Other community-based resources

Center for Workplace Mental Health offers suicide prevention and response for employers.

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Body cam video shows police officers save man’s life during mental health crisis