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Life for white author and his black namesake in segregated Southside was a study in contrasts

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South Boston officer talks man down from railroad trestle over Dan River / December 04, 2017

South Boston police worked overnight Monday to talk down a man who threatened to commit suicide by jumping off a railroad trestle over the Dan River. After a more than two-and-a-half hour exchange, the 35-year-old white male agreed to come down from the Norfolk and Southern Railroad trestle near Seymour Drive and was taken into custody.

On Monday, Dec. 4 at 1:21 a.m., a call came in to the Halifax E911 Communications Center from a person who claimed to be on top of the railroad trestle, ready to jump into the Dan River. Officers from the South Boston Police Department as well as the Halifax County Sheriff’s Office responded to the scene just off of Seymour Drive where they found the man on the top of the trestle, threatening to jump.

Officer J. George of the South Boston Police Department made contact with the subject and talked with him at length until he came down and was taken into custody. He was transported to the Sentara Halifax Regional Emergency Room by the Halifax County Rescue Squad to be evaluated.

“Officer George’s experience and CIT (Crisis Intervention Training) training played a critical role in avoiding a tragedy in this incident,” the South Boston Police Department explained in a statement. “All South Boston Police Department officers have attended CIT training, a week long course designed to equip police officers with the knowledge and skills needed to handle various crisis situations. Officers and Mental Health professionals are often paired together to give each a better understanding of the other’s role and to better serve the community.”

The South Boston Police Department would like to thank the Halifax County Sheriff’s Office for their assistance as well as the Halifax County Underwater Response Team who responded with a boat and emergency personnel to the scene.

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