Veteran Tulsa Officer's Heroic Actions Help Mentally Ill Woman In Crisis
TULSA, Oklahoma - A Tulsa Police officer's heroic actions led to getting a mentally ill woman off a billboard along a downtown highway during rush hour traffic.
The woman was waving a metal pipe and refusing to talk to the firefighters or police officers who were trying to calm her down, until she saw Officer Alisa Parrott.
Officer Alisa Parrott has been on the department 30 years and when she got to the scene and saw that woman up on the sign, she knew she wanted to help. Then she and the woman made eye contact and she knew she could help, if she could just get close enough.
"It got to the point they realized she didn't like men, and there were men in the bucket,” said Tulsa Police Officer Alisa Parrott.
Alisa got into the fire bucket but was still eight feet from the woman who'd asked for a cigarette, a lighter and water.
"I saw the lighter on the platform and asked her permission to get off the bucket, okay if I come get this lighter? 'Yes," said Officer Parrott.
Getting on the platform and sitting next to the woman was not exactly protocol and pretty risky, but Alisa said she could tell it would be okay.
"She wasn't looking through me. She saw me and I saw her and so, I wasn't afraid, she was going to drag me down. I said, 'so what brought you up here today? What's going on?' And, she started to cry," said Officer Parrott.
Alisa realized the woman was in real crisis.
"At one point, she kept looking off the platform saying, I just want to go, so I had to talk her out of that," said Officer Parrott.
Alisa says the key was a little human contact.
"I said, let me hold your hand and pray for you, and she let me pray for her," said Officer Parrott.
Alisa finally convinced the woman to come down and get help.
"I said, I want to give you a hug - so get up so I can give you a hug. I said, I love you; I want you to know I care," said Officer Parrott.
Even though Alisa put herself at risk, she has no regrets.
Lori asks, "So, would you do it again, the same way?"
"Absolutely, " answered Officer Parrott, then added with a grin, "Sorry, Captain."
Alisa says she’s a little embarrassed by all the attention because she says the truth is, officers do things like this every day; they just don't always get the publicity for it.