Fort Bragg MPs successfully talk down suicidal woman

Friday, November 17, 2017
Military Police helping save lives
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Two Military Police officers are being hailed as heroes for talking down a suicidal woman.

FORT BRAGG, North Carolina (WTVD) -- Two Fort Bragg Military Police officers are being hailed as heroes for their role in talking down a woman who threatened herself and officers.

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Fort Bragg says they get distressed person calls at least three times a month and they all have the potential to end badly.

What started off as a routine patrol call quickly turned into a life-saving mission.

"He was danger close. Because of the proximity to someone with a weapon and not knowing their true intention," said Maj. Jeffrey Gassaway.

But more important than danger was duty.

"I tell myself nine times out of 10 we are going to be counselors on the road. Instead of being an MP. Being that aggressive force ... Just sitting down and talking to somebody," said Staff Sgt. Cody Smith.

That's exactly how Smith was able to resolve the tense situation. Crisis negotiators were on the scene Monday afternoon but it was Smith who did all of the negotiating.

"She liked puppies, Pepsi, and cars so that's what we focused on," Smith said.

Minutes into the conversation, Smith learned the woman had given up after losing several family members. Two hours later, he was able to get the weapon away.

"What he did was a selfless act and it was very brave driving on that loaded weapon. He did a fantastic job and it's just a perfect example of what soldiers do every day for other people," said Sgt. Chandler Harkins.

Harkins and Smith plan to educate other MPs on the importance of crisis communications.

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