Tulsa crisis negotiator help defuse serious situations, save lives

TULSA - The Tulsa Police Department's crisis negotiators talk their way through some very stressful situations.

Those conversations are often the difference between life and death.

When a call comes out that someone is in a crisis and considering suicide, the Tulsa Police Department often turns to Officer Dean Montgomery.

"Last summer a similar instance," Montgomery said. "Half an hour in my shift to go and there is a lady on the I-44 bridge that was in crisis."

Trained in crisis negotiations, Montgomery has talked many people through some very dark times, helping them turn their lives around.

This week he once again found himself rushing to a scene, trying to save a life.

"It was easy to tell that he was angry and having a very difficult time," Montgomery said.

The young man was on a ledge at Hillcrest Medical Center, struggling with what to do, Montgomery added. That is when his training instantly kicked in.

"Good communication," Montgomery said. "So many times in our lives we get so busy, not specifically this instance, but many times that we get so busy that we forget to actually listen."

His training allowed him to communicate with people others haven't been able to reach.

"Every time they make the decision to come off of the building or structure, it is a huge relief for myself, the other officers, and for them," Montgomery said.

A relief but TPD's work doesn't end at the negotiation scene, whether it be the man at Hillcrest this week or a woman last summer.

"She made the decisions to come up off of the bridge and we got her treatment also."

Just part of a police officer's life, helping to save a life when called upon.

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