Officer Honored for Prevention of Murder and Suicide

Communications Director

Eric Vreeland
evreeland@knoxvilletn.gov
(865) 215-3480

400 Main St., Room 654A
Knoxville, TN 37902

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Officer Honored for Prevention of Murder and Suicide

Posted: 08/03/2010
Knoxville Mayor Bill Haslam and Police Chief Sterling Owen named Officer Travis Harvey the May Officer of the Month for the Knoxville Police Department. Officer Harvey has been with the KPD since August 2005.

Chief Owen said that at approximately 2:00 a.m. on May 4, 2010, Officer Harvey responded to a call of a possible pedestrian struck by a vehicle on the Gay Street Bridge. Officer Harvey discovered a woman with two small children on the bridge standing near the railing. Officer Harvey questioned the woman as to why she was on the bridge with kids at such a late hour. The woman indicated her husband had committed suicide and that she was "having a moment."

Officer Harvey continued to speak to the woman while additional officers responded to the scene. One of those officers discovered what appeared to be a broken tombstone in the woman's vehicle that was found parked on Hill Avenue.

While asking the woman about the discovery, she indicated to Officer Harvey that she was contemplating jumping off the bridge with her kids.

Officer Harvey was able to talk the woman into allowing the kids to sit in a patrol car while a Family Crimes Investigator responded to the scene. During additional questioning the woman admitted she was going to jump off the bridge with her 3 and 6 year old children. The children were turned over to relatives and the woman was transported to a medical center for evaluation.

Chief Owen said, "Officer Harvey stayed on the scene and continued to investigate because there was something about it that was 'just not right.' Officer Harvey's intervention that morning saved the lives of the woman and of the two innocent children."

Mayor Haslam said, "We commend Officer Harvey for his actions that no doubt saved the lives of three people."