The Kind of Cop a Democracy Needs

Kevin Briggs comes across as the kind of police officer I have been talking about. You certainly would call him intellectual, insightful, compassionate and caring. He is one of the guardians of the Golden Gate Bridge and in that role he is both a protector and a listener to those who have problems (which is incidentally what he sees as one of his main functions).

During the course of his 23 year  career with the California State Highway Patrol he has  helped over 200 people from becoming victims of suicide.

Since the bridge was opened to traffic in 1936 it has unfortunately been the location for more than 1,600 suicides.

When Briggs started working, officers had no formal training in suicide prevention. He says, “This was not only a disservice to those contemplating but to the officers as well.” Now they have training both from senior officers and from psychologists.

In 2013, the American Foundation for Suicide Prevention gave the California Highway Patrol a public service award in suicide prevention. Sgt. Briggs accepted the award on behalf of the department.

  • This is what the improvement process is all about — a need presents itself, solutions are considered, experts are queried, and the results are documented with the intention of improving the process.