About six months after intervening in a possible suicide attempt on a bridge over I-394, Golden Valley Police Sergeant Sean Hartneck responded to a very similar call on the pedestrian bridge at the intersection of Hwy 55 and Winnetka Ave. It was Dec 2, 2020, and the call was for a man standing on the outside fencing of the bridge, threatening to jump.
After arriving, Hartneck began shutting down traffic and called for additional help while other officers began negotiating with the man. After traffic was diverted, Hartneck turned his attention to helping the man on the bridge.
"At times, the man would sway forward and backward with his arms out to the sides as though he was going to jump," said Chief Scott Nadeau, in his report to the City Council. "All officers remained calm and compassionate. Additionally, the situation was particularly stressful because the man’s 12-year-old son was standing below him on the walk bridge and other family members were in a nearby parking lot, within eyesight."
Using their extensive training in crisis intervention and de-escalation, officers worked to build an emotional connection with the man in crisis and eventually persuaded him to safely step down onto the bridge deck.
"Once he did that, Sergeant Hartneck approached him, put his arm around him, and told him everything was going to be okay," said Nadeau.
For his outstanding performance that night, Hartneck was awarded the Golden Valley Police Department’s Certificate of Excellence at the Dec 7 City Council meeting.
Hartneck Recognized By West Metro VFW 7051
For that same Dec 2, 2020 incident, Hartneck was nominated for the Veterans of Foreign Wars (VFW) Public Servant Award Citation for the seventh district of Minnesota. Hartneck was presented this nomination by Commander Gale of VFW 7051 at the same meeting.
See top image (From L to R: Sgt Sean Hartneck and Chief Scott Nadeau)
See bottom image (From L to R: Commander Gale and Sgt Sean Hartneck)