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Officer Recognition

From: Lemke, Eric
Sent: Wednesday, October 1, 2014 9:14 PM
To: Rovella, James
Subject: Officer Maritza Brannick

Dear Chief Rovella,

I am writing you to acknowledge, what I feel, is Officer Maritza Brannick's recent exemplary service during the search for a suicidal subject.

On August 8, 2014, myself and Officer Brannick were dispatched to look for a suicidal male that was last seen looking "for a tall bridge", presumably to jump from. I located the subject on the Westbound I-84 entrance ramp from West Blvd, and observed that the male subject was standing next to the jersey wall on the west side of the overpass, approximately fifty feet over the parking lot of an office building on Capitol Avenue. After I blocked the ramp, I exited my cruiser and attempted to speak with the subject, who was crying and extremely distraught. The more I talked to the subject while attempting to move closer, the subject actually began to climb onto the jersey wall, stating that he wanted to be left alone and die. I immediately backed up and took a point of observation from the side of my cruiser, and the subject climbed off of the jersey wall, while maintaining a dialogue.

Upon the arrival of Officer Brannick, the subject immediately calmed, and began a dialogue with her which lasted approximately ten minutes. During Officer Brannick's conversation with the subject, he kept repeating that he wished to kill himself because nobody was helping him, and he felt that this was his only option. Officer Brannick was eventually able to gain the subjects confidence enough to approach him and walk him back to the safety of our cruisers, but not before the subject trusted Officer Brannick enough to give her his cell phone to talk with his wife.

In my 19 years in law enforcement, the times we see that actually have an immediate positive impact of a subjects life, are getting far and few between, and police are more often criticized for their actions. What I witnessed Officer Brannick do to save this persons life, made me proud to be a Hartford Police Officer. I only wish the general public could see just how dangerous this situation was for Officer Brannick, as seen in the recent past, the subject could have pulled her off of the bridge with him if he had made the decision to jump.

Officer Brannick performed her duties with selfless professionalism, and was able to assist the subject to get the mental health assistance he so desperately needed. I have worked with Officer Brannick on many tours of duty since this incident, and it never ceases to impress me how compassionate and professional she is, even during the most stressful of calls.

Thank You,

Officer Eric R. Lemke

Officer Eric Lemke
Patrol Division
Hartford Police Department
253 High Street
Hartford, CT 06103

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Hartford Police Department
Public Safety Complex
253 High Street
Hartford CT, 06103

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