Five Geneva Police officers are being credited with saving a man who was threatening to take his life May 4 on the Union Pacific West line train trestle spanning the Fox River.
Dispatched at 7:58 p.m., officers were able to stop train traffic after making contact with the man standing on the platform, which is nearly 100 feet above the river. Officers subjected themselves to great risk by walking along the trestle to help deescalate the situation. Negotiations took more than 70 minutes, during which time the man threatened to jump or use knives to harm himself.
Throughout this prolonged incident, officers remained calm by utilizing their extensive crisis intervention training to safely end a very dangerous and tense incident. The man ended up willingly walking to the officers unharmed, and he was taken to Northwestern Medicine’s Delnor Hospital in Geneva to receive the appropriate care.
The May 4 incident highlights the Geneva Police Department’s continuing efforts to dedicate more resources toward mental health responses. Starting in 2020, the City has partnered with the Association for Individual Development (AID) to provide a part-time, on-site social worker at the Geneva Police Department.
Geneva residents who would like to make an appointment with Allison Bader, the City’s contracted AID social worker, can call the AID Crisis Line at 630-966-9393, send her an email, or call the Geneva Police Department at 630-232-4736.
The City’s partnership with AID complements the Geneva Police Department’s existing Crisis Intervention Team (CIT), which is comprised of officers who have received specialized training to assist residents with mental illness. More than 50% of the City’s officers are CIT-trained, and the department works to increase that number each year.
With May being Mental Awareness Health Month, the public may have noticed green ribbons at Geneva City Hall, high school, middle schools, and other select community locations. The City’s Mental Health Board campaign aims to break down the stigma associated with mental illness. The board also shared Mental Health America resource information with the community this month that can be found on the City’s website.