ALTON - The subject on the ledge of Clark Bridge in Alton voluntarily came off the bridge just after 2 p.m. Friday, and officers transported him to seek mental health assistance.

Alton Deputy Police Chief Jarrett Ford said crisis officers negotiated with the man for about 5 hours before he left the bridge ledge, back to safety.

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"It was definitely several difficult hours on the bridge," Deputy Chief Ford said. "I am very proud of the officers for the job they did. They maintained communication with him the best they could and ultimately in the end he decided to seek mental health treatment. We gave him transportation to a place he wanted to go and hopefully he will get help."

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The deputy chief said the training for these types of crisis situations is vital.

"We also had a highly publicized incident recently, so this is something we are always training on," he said. "The training puts us in a good situation to handle mental health crisis situations the best we can. This is one of the longest ones on the bridge we have had. I can't say enough positives about the officers for their efforts."

For those in need of help in crisis situations, the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline of 988 is active across the U.S.

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