He didn’t even tell his wife, this Raleigh police officer Dan Hicks, a six-year veteran of the force. No, he didn’t mention that he was late coming home Wednesday because he was saving someone’s life.
About to get off his shift, Hicks, 32, got a call that a lone man appeared ready to jump off a bridge on the Beltline into Wade Avenue traffic. He rushed to the bridge, by himself, cautiously approached the man, talked with him, helped to pull him back and then hugged him for 10 seconds. Paramedics later took him away in an ambulance.
For his part, Hicks said it was all “part of my job.” He said, “There was a citizen crying for help, and we certainly answered his cry, and hopefully he will get the help he needs.” That was that, for Dan Hicks.
But a video, from the state Department of Transportation, went viral, and Dan Hicks is a star now whether he wants to be or not.
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A commendation should be in his future, with full recognition from the Raleigh City Council.
Citizens get help from police officers all day every day, of course, and most respect the work they do. The vast majority of people know the dangers police officers are up against every day when they leave home, leave their spouses and children, knowing that it’s likely that they’ll face danger, perhaps deadly danger, that day.
But officers aren’t just chasing down thieves and other bad guys. Sometimes they’re bringing calm to a domestic dispute, counseling young people to keep them out of trouble, helping the elderly navigate stairs and sidewalks, trying to get mentally ill people the help they need.
And then one night there’s a man in desperate trouble, “at the bottom of a dark hole,” as Hicks put it, who seems ready to end it all on a bridge. And one very good cop saves him.
Here, then, is a fine example of a good human helping another and then calling it only his duty. very citizen ought to think of something like this as a personal duty, but too often we pass by those in trouble or fear getting involved. But for Officer Hicks, there was no hesitation, and not just because of his training, but because of his compassion, because of life lessons that were in him long before he became a cop.
So thanks to the wildfire of the Internet, Dan Hicks is known nationwide, and so is Raleigh and its police force. A man is in his debt. And so is a city.