Five Bend PD officers receive life-saving award

Keep suicidal man from jumping to death at parking garage

GRAND RONDE, Ore. - Four Bend police officers and a detective who helped prevent a suicide at Bend's downtown parking garage this summer have been honored with a life-saving award by the Oregon Peace Officers Association.

The OPOA held its annual awards banquet Friday at Spirit Mountain Casino.

On June 28, Det. Juli McConkey and officers Todd Guthrie, Chris Morin, Whitney Wiles and Dave Poole responded to the four-story Centennial Parking Garage in regards to a suicidal man threatening to jump in an attempt to kill himself.

The suicidal man was located at the top of the parking structure, standing at the edge, holding a picture of his daughter, crying and threatening to jump, said Lt. Chris Carney.

McConkey and Wiles engaged the man in conversation in an attempt to talk him off of the ledge. Poole provided support and communications from the ground level.

After negotiations to successfully talk the subject away from the ledge broke down, Guthrie and Morin developed a plan to move in and physically remove the subject from the ledge.

At one point, the subject was looking toward the ground, Carney said. Officers believed the subject was going to take this opportunity to jump.

Guthrie and Morin moved in and grabbed the subject before he could jump from the ledge.

"This act of heroism, which placed their own lives in jeopardy, saved the life of the person in crisis," Carney said. "The subject was safely removed from the ledge without injury and transported to a local hospital for evaluation."

"If it was not for the efforts of the above listed officers, it is believed the subject would have jumped and would have been successful at ending his life," the lieutenant said.

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