POLICE: Recent bridge jump rescues around Chippewa Valley prompt - WQOW TV: Eau Claire, WI NEWS18 News, Weather, and Sports

POLICE: Recent bridge jump rescues around Chippewa Valley prompt mental health concerns


Chippewa Valley (WQOW)- A story told too often around the Chippewa Valley is about people jumping from bridges. Some local law enforcement personnel are urging community members to reach out for help when needed.

Since August 30, Eau Claire and Chippewa Falls law enforcement have responded to three cases of people jumping from bridges in two rivers around the Chippewa Valley.

RELATED: Woman rescued after jumping off Hwy. 124 bridge near Chippewa Falls NSP dam

RELATED: Emergency crews in Eau Claire respond to another bridge jumper

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While officials are not commenting on these cases specifically, Chippewa Falls Police said calls involving mental health concerns are happening more frequently than ever before.

The Chippewa Falls Police Department said whether there are legal repercussions for something like this depends on the situation, and every situation is unique. If there is a concern about a person's mental health, the department's primary concern is their well-being, not giving out a citation.

"Our goal is to take a look at what the situation is and take the most appropriate action. If someone's in a mental health crisis and they take actions that would potentially, otherwise be criminal, but our goal, our focus is more on their health. (We'd) really, really have to take a look at what the factors are under each situation before we determine what kind of action we're going to take," said Chief Matthew Kelm with the Chippewa Falls Police Department.

The police department encourages anyone struggling, or knows someone struggling, with a mental illness to contact law enforcement.

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