NJ cop’s heroism didn’t end when he chased and saved suicidal man
Riverdale Sgt. Greg Bogert doesn't consider himself a hero for saving the life of a man who was attempting to jump off a Route 287 bridge in April.
But there are many who disagree and on Wednesday, the 18-year police veteran will be honored by local officials.
Bogert will receive a Life Saver Award for the action he took on April 25 at about 11:30 a.m. As he approached the bridge, he observed the man alongside the highway, after learning that the individual had been wandering in front of moving vehicles.
As the sergeant pulled up and exited his patrol car, he saw the individual and after saying "Hey man, what's up?" the man took off toward the edge of the bridge, as Bogert yelled, "don't f***ing do it," and rushed to grab him — pulling the victim away from the edge, saving his life.
Since that time, Riverdale Police Lt. James MacIntosh said, Bogert has remained in contact with the man and his family. He said the man is "doing very well" since the incident.
In addition, Bogert has also launched a campaign aimed at preventing teenage suicides. There are even T-shirts that reflect what the sergeant said to the victim when he saw him attempting to jump.
MacIntosh said the Life Saver Award that will be presented to the sergeant Wednesday by the police chief and mayor is well-deserved.
"A lot of officers are recognized in different ways but when you get something of this prevalence with an actual direct save of a life, it's very special," MacIntosh said of Bogert's actions, adding that he "went above and beyond."
In April, Bogert was honored by NJ 101.5 host Bill Spadea as part of his weekly #BlueFriday campaign to recognize officers who go above and beyond the call of duty.
During an interview on the air, the sergeant acknowledged that being a police officer these days can be difficult. He also said he knew when he pulled up to the scene on Route 287 that the victim was suicidal and that he'd have to act quickly in order to keep him from going through with it.
“I kind of knew when I pulled up that this gentleman was suicidal,” Bogert said. “So I was prepared when I got there. I was ready to act.”
Toniann Antonelli is a social content producer for NJ 101.5. She can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org, or on Twitter @ToniRadio1015.