Chief, council honor officers who saved man’s life in Grass Valley |

Chief, council honor officers who saved man’s life in Grass Valley

Lorraine Jewett
Special to The Union

On June 20, 2017, Grass Valley police corporal Jesse Cloyd and officer Mel Bird saved the life of a man trying to jump off the Empire Street/Highway 20 overpass.

In honor of their heroism and quick thinking, the two officers will receive the Bill and Susan Drown Public Safety Award at the annual Red Light Ball hosted by the Nevada County Law Enforcement and Fire Protection Council on Saturday. The officers have been praised by their chief and members of the council:

“These officers would tell you that they did what any other police officer would have done. Although I believe that is true, these officers should be commended for their calm demeanor, excellent de-escalation skills, and ultimately for their immediate and unequivocal decision to act which resulted in a positive, rather than a tragic, outcome.” — Alex Gammelgard, Grass Valley Police Chief

“Choosing a recipient for our award was very difficult this year. We realized our fire departments, California Highway Patrol, and other first responders did a marvelous job during our fires. But these two young officers stood out. Not only saving a life of someone about to commit suicide, but that same person thanked them a few weeks later for making sure he had a second chance in life.” — Anthony Halby, NCLFC President

“US Attorney General Robert Kennedy stated: “Every society gets the kind of criminal it deserves. What is equally true is that every community gets the kind of law enforcement it insists on.” Officers Cloyd and Bird, by their professionalism, heroic action, and commitment to excellence, truly represent the entire law enforcement community here in Nevada County. It’s the kind of law enforcement we in Nevada County not only insist on but of which we are so proud. Congratulations not only to officers Cloyd and Bird but all members of the Nevada County Law Enforcement Community.” — Tom O’Toole, NCLFC Vice President

“The calm compassion Corporal Cloyd and officer Bird showed for that desperate man reveals so much about the officers’ character and competence. They averted a tragedy that would have reverberated throughout our community. The officers were successful because they reacted decisively and strategically, which speaks to the professionalism and culture of the Grass Valley Police Department.” —Ray Byers, NCLFC Board Member

“Both Jesse and Mel are huge assets to our city. All police officers in the department have the utmost respect for them. As a citizen of Nevada County, I’m very proud to support our law enforcement and first responders. There were countless events throughout the year that we can give recognition to, and I’m grateful we get to shine the spotlight on officers Bird and Cloyd in preventing that man from making a poor decision and likely ending his life.” — Lucas Mijares, NCLFC Board Member

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