A Muscatine police officer has been awarded a Medal of Valor for saving a woman’s life back in February.
The Public Safety Officer Medal of Valor is the highest honor a police officer can receive. It’s awarded when an officer puts their own life in danger to save another person’s life.
In February, Officer Jolisa Colman did just that when she responded to a call about a woman in her 30’s standing over the edge of a bridge in Muscatine. “I ended up arriving first on scene. I saw her sitting over the edge. I started walking towards her. She was yelling ‘I’m going to jump I’m going to jump.’ I got a little bit closer and said ‘No no.’ She said I’m going to jump. At that point she ended up jumping and pushing herself off the ledge.”
Officer Colman grabbed the woman by her jacket and held onto her arm. “I wasn’t really thinking about going over the edge. Pulling her up was my main goal. I wasn’t even thinking about going over.”
Colman says the woman did indeed end up pulling her over the edge. “My feet were off the ground.”
Both Officer Colman and the woman were hanging off the edge off the bridge above the Mississippi River. “I knew my strength couldn’t hold on to her. Luckily one of her feet caught on to one of the beams that was just below the ledge there When I saw that her feet were there I was able to let go knowing she was able to land safely on the beam that was connected with the bridge. And I was able to pull myself back on to the street.”
Colman says that's when, an officer from the crisis negotiation team arrived on scene. “Her and I were able to talk to her a little more and we were eventually able to pull her back up."
Mayor of Muscatine Diana Broderson recognized the life-saving moment during a virtual city council meeting on May 7th. “We are proud of this act that she has done to save someone else’s life here in Muscatine,” Mayor Broderson said. “It’s my honor to award her the medal of valor.”
Officer Colman is one of only three Muscatine police officers to receive the Medal of Valor.
“We deal with subjects who are almost at the end of their rope everyday,” Colman said. “Maybe that day we just happened to change their mind.”
(Photo courtesy of 6 News)