As a cop, even when you're off duty, you're sometimes on duty.
In a letter to Chief Keenan, Lt. Minton described the heroic actions of off-duty Officer Donnelly, who happened to be in the right place at the right time:
On June 11, 2017, at approximately 4:50 p.m., off duty Officer Ryan Donnelly was traveling on Route 3A towards Plymouth. As he approached the exit 9 Route 3 overpass he observed two motorcycles pulled over. As Officer Donnelly slowed down, he observed a man hanging off of a fence over the northbound traffic of Route 3. He pulled over, exited his truck and observed the male to be crying and yelling. Officer Donnelly spoke with one of the bystanders who was talking with the man. He told the bystander that he is a Police Officer and a Crisis Negotiator and was going to take over the scene.
The Officer then walked closer to the distraught man and could see that he was upset and shaking. He was barefoot and was clinging to the fence with his fingers and toes through the holes. Officer Donnelly used his training to initiate dialogue with the man and learned that due to a series of life changing events, the man said that he was a failure and wanted to die. Officer Donnelly reassured the man that the issues could be worked out however the man kept threatening, “I’m going to jump in front of the next truck I see.” The traffic coming North on Route 3 was not slowing because the operators could not see the man dangling from the bridge. The man began crying again and asked for a cigarette. One of the bystanders handed Officer Donnelly a cigarette, who then told the man that if he came back over the fence he could have all the cigarettes he wanted and they could talk the problems out. After about a minute of considering the offer, the man began to climb back over the fence. Once he was half way over the fence, Officer Donnelly reached over and with the help of other bystanders, grabbed the man so that he would not have a second chance to jump. Officer Donnelly and bystanders consoled the man and awaited the arrival of the Kingston Police Department. Minutes later, four Kingston Police Officers arrived along with the Kingston Fire Department Ambulance. The man was then escorted into the ambulance and transported to the hospital.
Without the prompt and professional response of Officer Donnelly, the distraught man may have jumped before emergency response personnel could have intervened.
-signed Lt. Dan Minton
If you, or someone you know is in crisis, please contact 911 or the National Suicide Prevention LIfeline at 800.273.8255. You can also visit their website at https://suicidepreventionlifeline.org/ for resources.