BRAVE police officers who tied a suicidal psychiatric patient to a railway bridge where he was threatening to jump off have been handed commendations.
PC Jordan Rolfe, PC Claire Proudfoot, PC Lisa Jones and PCSO Vikki Cooper were singled out for a Chief Constable’s commendation at a ceremony last Friday at Netley, where several other officers were also honoured.
Newly-qualified student officer PC Rolfe was at Elmleigh psychiatric unit on May 7 this year when a patient threatened to kill himself.
The patient fled the building, shouting he was going to kill himself, and PC Rolfe chased after him.
The patient ran to a footbridge over train tracks, where all officers – who had joined PC Rolfe – grabbed hold of him.
Together they managed to peel back fencing and used fast wraps to tie him to the bridge to prevent him from jumping.
‘They continued to hold him for half an hour, which meant that the rail lines underneath could be turned off and the trains stopped before the fire service were able to get him down safely,’ a spokeswoman said.
‘All four officers have been honoured for their courage and quick thinking to save this man’s life.’
And a PC subjected to a ‘terrifying attack’ was also honoured.
PC Danielle Ruzewicz was bitten by Brett Ferre in Harbour View, Portchester, as she went to help him.
She was left with a permanent scar after the incident on September 16, 2016.
PC Ruzewicz and her colleague PC Nicki Wisdom, who helped detain Ferre, have both been given commendations.
Ferre, of Windmill Grove, Fareham, has admitted wounding at court.
Portsmouth city centre’s Sgt Richard Holland was also handed an award for his work leading a police team in the Charles Dickens ward, which includes the busy Commercial Road shopping street.
Hampshire’s Chief Constable Olivia Pinkney said she was ‘very proud’ of the officers who showed ‘exceptional courage and professionalism’.
She said: ‘We have people willing to go above and beyond for the protection of others – they should be celebrated and should not fear being physically or verbally abused while simply trying to do their job.’
John Apter, chairman of Hampshire Police Federation, said officers put themselves in harm’s way: ‘It is so important that we recognise this bravery and allow the public to see the reality of what our officers and staff have to deal with.’