CANTON – Three members of the SUNY Canton police force and one from the Canton Police Department are being commended for rescuing a suicidal person from jumping off a bridge over the Grasse River last week.
SUNY Canton University Police Officer Daniel Callahan, Lieutenant Brian Kurish and Deputy Chief Al Mulkin, as well as Canton P.D. Sergeant James Santimaw, have been commended by the Police Benevolent Association of New York State for their quick action which could have saved the person’s life.
Officer Callahan was called to the SUNY Canton footbridge after receiving a report of a despondent subject on the bridge.
Callahan arrived and tried to grab the subject, who had a fabric rope around his neck, but the subject jumped. Callahan and Sgt. Santimaw tried lifting the subject back to the bridge, but he was too heavy, so Callahan quickly decided to cut the rope even though it would mean the subject would fall into the swift moving river below, which was high due to rain and snowmelt.
Officer Callahan took off his heavy equipment and entered the dangerous waters, but could not find the suspect immediately. He eventually found him about 25 feet from shore and, along with Sergeant Santimaw, Lieutenant Kurish and Deputy Chief Mulkin who also came to the scene, were able to pull him to safety.
The subject, whose name has been withheld, was taken to Canton-Potsdam hospital and is expected to recover, according to the PBA statement.
“We’re very proud of all of them,” said Canton Police Chief Lori McDougal. “They are to be commended for their action. Everyday heroes,” McDougall said.
“This courageous rescue shows the dedication and professionalism of both the SUNY Canton University Police and the Canton Village Police,” the statement said. “The PBA is grateful that all involved are safe and the situation ended positively.”
The PBA of New York State is the exclusive bargaining agent for the New York State University (SUNY) Police, the New York State Environmental Conservation Police, the New York State Park Police, and the New York State Forest Rangers.