Cop who saved suicidal man: People don’t appreciate police any more (#BlueFriday)
Sgt. Greg Bogert is a hero. But The 18-year veteran of the Riverdale Police Department who saved a man from jumping off a Route 287 bridge Monday isn't used to receiving praise for his efforts.
"I kind of knew when I pulled up that this gentleman was suicidal," he told me during Friday's show as we marked #BlueFriday, our weekly effort to recognize police who go above and beyond the call of duty. "So I was prepared when I got there. I was ready to act."
I started #BlueFriday because I'm concerned with the negative narrative around policing — and I know good, selfless, heroic work is being done every day. I asked Bogert how tough it is to be a cop.
“I’ve been on for 18 years, and when I first came on, it was before Sept. 11. And I remember, being a young officer, that it was in the news that we were all racial profilers," he told me. "And I remember (thinking) back then, ‘What the heck did I get myself involved in? And then 9/11 happens, and overnight, we all became heroes."
But that sentiment didn't last. Criticism of police is rampant.
"It’s just, it’s just really taken effect on the law enforcement community," Bogert said. "And we don’t get a a lot of thank-yous. I know for myself, that when I do get them, especially in writing, I hang them in my office. And on those days, when I question ... putting my uniform, and (wonder) 'Why do I do this anymore,' I take those thank-yous off the wall and I start to read them.
"You know, I’ll tell you — now I don’t have a wall big enough."
It's a compelling story. Bogert is refreshing and amazing. I have no words for it. And I'm happy the young man he helped is safe.
Across the state, Bogert is now seen as a real hero — as he should be.
Law enforcement remains in our prayers.
Know a great cop? Tweet @NJ1015 using the hashtag #BlueFriday or use the form below.