Rookie Detroit police officer saves suicidal man's life

Detroit police Officer Abigail Campbell saves man 4 months after starting job

DETROIT – Detroit police Officer Abigail Campbell, 24, has been working for the Detroit Police Department for just four months, and in that short amount of time she might have already made the best save of her career.

Campbell was called in as backup Saturday morning to the Lodge Freeway, where a man was threatening to jump. When Campbell got to the scene, she sprung into action.

Campbell got the man to safety, but she said she never would have expected something like that to happen four months into her job. Luckily, she was ready to do all she could to save the man's life.

"Why don't you talk to me about what's going on?" she asked the man.

At what became a crowded scene at the Lodge Freeway and 6 Mile Road, Campbell and a man in a yellow coat talked through the low moments in the man's life.

"Turn around and look at me," Campbell said. "I know you don't know me, but my name's Abby. Give me your hand."

Campbell reassured the man through his tears.

"Hey, it's alright. It's alright," she told him.

Campbell said in that moment, she wasn't as calm as she seemed.

"My blood pressure was high in hopes that I would be able to find the right words to say," Campbell said. "It's frantic when you see somebody getting ready to possibly end their life. I spoke to him as if he's my brother, because in that instance, he is.

"Even though I have a uniform on, you have to talk to them as if they're your only family member because his life matters just as much as everyone else's."

Campbell spoke to the man for about an hour until he decided to get off of the other side of the fence.

Situations like Saturday's are the reason Campbell joined the Detroit Police Department in the first place. She studied criminal justice for her undergrad and as a Master's degree. She wanted to do social work, and said that as a police officer, she gets to all the time.

"It is an honor to wear the badge, to wear the uniform when people call and ask for your help," Campbell said. "It's an honor to go and help them."

Campbell's compassion guides her through a tough job, and she believes her role as a police officer will give her more opportunities to listen, care and serve a community she's grown to love.

"I would not call myself a hero," Campbell said. "This is what I come to do (in) my job every day, and I hope I get to do it again. I want to help as many people as I possibly can."

Campbell said she doesn't want to be called a hero. She wanted her partner, the Detroit Fire Department and the Michigan State Police Department to get credit for the rescue.

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About the Authors:

Koco joined the Local 4 News team in September of 2016. She was born and raised in Metro Detroit, attended Central Michigan University, and previously worked at WOOD-TV in Grand Rapids.

Derick is the Lead Digital Editor for ClickOnDetroit and has been with Local 4 News since April 2013. Derick specializes in breaking news, crime and local sports.