HAWKINS COUNTY, Tenn. - Police departments all across the region receive hundreds of calls to help people threatening suicide. One officer in Rogersville, Tennessee recently arrived at a call just in time to save a young life.
Officer Chris Price says he found the girl hanging from the rafters of a carport, within moments of dying.
Price drives down Main Street in Rogersville hundreds of times during his shift, but as he passes a particular home, he will never forget being at the right place at the right time. "A few minutes after 8 p.m. we had a call. A young lady was supposedly making suicidal threats, wanting to hurt herself," he said. "The people she lived with were concerned."
It was a call like many others the department receives, according to police chief Doug Nelson. "We get things like that all the time. You get there and 99 times out of a hundred it's a false call, nothing to it," he explained.
Unfortunately, that wasn't the case on this night. "I started making my way towards the carport. I got towards the back of a vehicle, and that's when I saw the young lady hanging from the beams of the garage," Price said. "I climbed up on the back bumper of a Bronco, more or less bear hugged her, and picked her up to take the tension off her neck."
Officer Price and someone living at the home got her down and saved her from taking her own life. "We got that knot loose, and I don't think I've heard anybody inhale as deeply and long in my life," he recalled.
Chief Nelson spent the morning fashioning a letter of commendation to put in the officer's file. "Please let this serve as a letter of commendation for your quick response to a teenage girl contemplating suicide," Nelson read from the statement.
Just like so many in law enforcement, it was just another day just doing his duty. "Even if they'd waited a little longer to call, if it would have taken a little longer to get there, it might have been a different outcome," Price said.
Thankfully, it wasn't.