Mayor Recognizes Police Dispatcher Who Help Save Suicidal Man

Albuquerque Police Dispatcher Cheryl Kirk is this week’s Friday’s Hero

January 15, 2009

ALBUQUERQUE – Music was blaring in the back ground and the voice on the other end of the phone was muffled. It a deep tone it kept saying “I slit my wrist” and “my life isn’t worth living.” The phone disconnected

It was up to Albuquerque Police Dispatcher Cheryl Kirk to get the man help and since the call was made on a cell phone she had little to go on. All she knew was that the call came from a neighborhood in the 6100 block of Indian School.

But within minutes, Kirk researched all prior 911 calls made from the area, found a home where a suicide attempt had been made before and determined that was the likely place to send police. She got a number and called it back while another dispatcher told officers where to go. Kirk’s hunch was right.

The officers waiting outside the house heard the phone ringing and forced their way in. They found a man inside trying to hang himself. The police were able to stop him and took him to the hospital. He survived the Jan. 3 incident.

On Friday, Jan. 15, Mayor Richard J. Berry recognized Kirk as the week’s Friday’s Hero. Kirk was presented the Police Chief’s Coffee mug for her actions.

“People think of heroes as being public servants who wear uniforms, but a lot of times it’s a member of our exceptional civilian staff who go above the call of duty to save someone’s life,” Police Chief Ray Schultz said. “Our police dispatchers are involved in saving lives every day.”

At the time the incident occurred, Kirk was being trained. She was recently hired as a dispatcher by the Albuquerque Police Department.

“Judging by this incident, it is clear Dispatcher Kirk has a bright career a head of her,” Public Safety Director Darren White said. “I am sure this is the first of many lives she will save in her career.”