Thursday, June 13, 2024

Henderson Police officer and sheriff’s deputy rescue woman having mental health crisis from Ohio River

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HENDERSON, Ky. (WFIE) – Last month, a police officer and sheriff’s deputy worked together to save a woman in the Ohio River while she was having a mental health crisis.

Things may look normal now on the Henderson riverfront, but that wasn’t the case on May 11.

Henderson Police received a call from someone on the riverfront saying a woman handed her a cell phone, asked her to call her family and tell them she loved them, then walked into the river.

Henderson Police Officer Jordan Donithan and Henderson County Sheriff’s Deputy Brent Vose were some of those who quickly arrived on scene.

They tried to convince her to come out on her own, but she wasn’t responding and kept moving into deeper water.

“Just kind of spoke with Donithan and we both agreed we were going to go in the water and get her,” said Vose.

Both officers took off their vests, along with any gear they didn’t want to lose or get wet, and pulled the woman from the water.

Emergency medical services were there and took the woman where she could get help.

“And that’s kind of the goal of community policing, helping people know we’re not the bad guy, we’re here to help you,” said Vose. “Even if you’re having a hard time and somebody’s hurt you and you don’t feel safe calling, that’s what we’re here for.”

They say each of their departments has had an increased focus on mental health over the past few years, and they have to approach those situations in a specific way.

They say working in law enforcement can wear you down, but situations that end so well, like the water rescue, motivate you to keep going.

“Just seeing somebody that you’ve helped, or even if it’s a little kid and you just make their day by giving them a sticker, it gives you that confidence to keep doing the job,” said Vose.

They say the rescue went about as well as it could have, and it even gave them a chance to work without the extra weight of their usual gear.

They say it’s an experience they’ll carry with them for a while.

“It does make me go home at the end of the day feeling really good about myself, knowing that I saved somebody’s life,” said Donithan.

Both men say they’re grateful for where they work, and they say each department really does prioritize the community and ensure that they receive all necessary training to be able to handle any type of situation.

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