Officers honored for preventing suicide

(L to R) Sgt. John Rush, Officer Mike Talbot, Judy Cooperberg, Mayor Jim Ledford. (CHP Sgt. and Palmdale City Councilmember Tom Lackey is in the background). (Photo by John Glover)

PALMDALE – A California Highway Patrol Officer and a Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Department Sergeant, who talked a suicidal man off a freeway overpass back in January, were honored at Wednesday’s city council meeting.

Mental Health America (MHA) and the Palmdale City Council presented City Commendations to CHP officer Michael Talbot and LASD Sgt. John Rush for their heroic efforts in suicide prevention.

The ceremony was held before a packed room of high-ranking officers from both departments and family members of the honorees.

“While it’s helpful to receive special training in crisis negotiations, suicide prevention really requires individuals who have enough compassion and caring to make a connection to those who have lost all hope and purpose in life,” said MHA executive director Judy Cooperberg. “Our community is proud of the officers… they possess all these characteristics when they offered hope and solace to that young man they saved last January 20th.”

The Antelope Valley community’s suicide rate ranks the highest in Los Angeles County and poses a serious public health issue, according to MHA.

Cooperberg said, with such a prevalent suicide incidence rate in the Antelope Valley, she has pledged to work toward more mental health resources for the community.

  2 comments for “Officers honored for preventing suicide

  1. Facts
    March 10, 2012 at 12:34 pm

    Great Job Sgt Rush and Officer Talbot! Thanks for showing the community activists, the DO,J and the ambulance chasing cop suing attorney’s what the A.V. law enforcement are all about. Protecting the law abiding members of our community, no matter what race they are.

    And thanks to A.V. Times for covering this story. Like you usually do with the negative police stories, please link this story to the original incident so that your readers will truly understand what these dedicated men actually did when they saved a troubled soul from killing himself and leaving their children without a father. That would go a long way to add some balance to those who accuse our A.V. law enforcement of racial discrimination every time certain encounters end up negatively, as they most certainly will in this game of life.

    • Facts
      March 11, 2012 at 6:57 pm

      @A.V. Times, still waiting for that link or background story of this event. I’m sure it would be of interest to your readers as it is a POSITIVE life story.

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