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Member of law enforcement recognized for 'outstanding life-saving service' addressing a man's mental health crisis

The Mower County Deputy Sheriff was acknowledged at the Mower County Board meeting on Tuesday

Posted: Aug 28, 2018 6:40 PM

AUSTIN, Minn. - A few weeks ago, an intoxicated man was standing in Deputy Sheriff Tom Brogan's lane of traffic on a county road, but Brogan was able to avoid hitting him with his patrol car. He turned his car around to find out what the issue was.

"As soon as I tried making contact with him, he would not stop... There were some comments by him for me to shoot him," explains Deputy Sheriff Brogan.

He says he tried to build some verbal rapport, but it wasn't working. The man also had his hand tucked under his shirt, insinuating he may have a weapon. "My biggest concern was for my safety and his safety at that time. We were the only two people out there; It's the middle of the night."  Brogan's partners arrived on the scene to assist.

"We were able to get close enough to him, continued that dialogue. He wasn't having it, so I was able to utilize our taser and take him into protective custody at that point," he adds. They found that he had his hand on his wallet and was not armed, but was having a mental health crisis.

On Tuesday, the Mower County Board of Supervisors recognized Brogan for his 'Outstanding Life-Saving Service' at their meeting. Other members of the department attended to acknowledge the Deputy Sheriff.

"It's completely different than what we're normally used to as far as being with someone who is criminal," says Brogan. "In this case, there's no criminal acts on his behalf. He needs help and it's our job, just as much as it is to enforce the laws, to help people in those situations."

The team took the man to the hospital for a 72-hour mental health evaluation. "Since then, I haven't really heard a disposition on him but I hope he got the help that he needed."

When asked what it felt like to be recognized today, Brogan responded humbly. "A little weird, not going to lie. This is not just me. This is a team effort, the other deputies that responded as well. Had they not been there, this might not have turned out the way it did."

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