DUNDEE, Mich. — A Dundee police officer is reinforcing the idea that help is available for those who need it, after he found himself helping a teenager who nearly took his own life.
Officer Hunter Chirillo, 23, is assigned to the traffic and patrol division at the Dundee Police Department. On Saturday, Nov. 7 at 10 p.m., he had just cleared a traffic stop on southbound US-23 and took exit 13 to Ida West Road to turn around. He noticed a vehicle parked in the middle of the roadway on top of the overpass. He also saw a young man standing outside the car.
When Chirillo stopped to see if he needed any help, the 17-year-old from Adrian told Chirillo that he was there because he wanted to jump off the overpass.
Chirillo exited his car to intervene and notified Monroe County Central Dispatch. Additional units and medical responders were sent to assist.
Chirillo was able to initiate a conversation with the young man and built a quick rapport as they continued to talk. He kept the teen's thoughts focused on the conversation and away from the edge.
Sheriff's deputy and Dundee Officer Paul Klink and Reserve Officer Derek Cole arrived within minutes and the four officers were able to secure the young man safely.
The teen was taken to the hospital for further evaluation and assistance.
Chirillo said he's thankful he happened to be at the right place at the right time.
"If I had never gone to that exit to turn around or if I had never made that traffic stop in the first place, I think it was completely lucky that I found him. I'm really glad I did. I was able to help the kid," he said. "I think the biggest message is that there's always help to get if you are suicidal or if you have thoughts of harming yourself. There's going to be help at hospitals, therapists, whatever it is that you need, there's always someone you can reach out to for help, whether it's family or doctors."
Chirillo said this type of scenario doesn't happen too often in the village, but they do train in suicide prevention.
He said he's keeping the boy in his prayers.
If you are struggling and need someone to talk to, there are many resources to help pair you with someone trained to listen and offer guidance.
Anyone experiencing a crisis can contact the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline at 800-273-8255. The Lifeline provides 24/7, free and confidential support for people in distress, prevention and crisis resources for you or your loved ones, and best practices for professionals.
Locally, you can call Rescue Mental Health 419-255-9585 or the Wood County Crisis Line at 419-502-4673.
If you want to talk to someone and are not in immediate danger, Text '4Hope' to 741-741 to be connected to the Ohio Mental Health and Addiction Services Crisis Text Line. There is no charge and the information will not show up on your phone bill.
If you are in need of mental health services, Call Unison Health at 419-214-4673 or NAMI of Greater Toledo at 419-243-1119.
If you are a young member of the LGBTQ+ community and need help in any way, call the Trevor Project at 1-866-488-7386. Calls made to the Trevor Project are free and kept confidential.