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Cal Poly officer honored for saving a life

Posted at 4:36 PM, Jan 23, 2019
and last updated 2019-01-23 19:51:56-05

A student in crisis led to a life-saving effort by a  Cal Poly police officer. On Wednesday, that officer was recognized for his work.

In 2016, Officer Chad Reiley was reportedly on routine patrol when he saw a student on the top ledge of the Village Drive parking structure on campus. According to a Cal Poly press release, the student told Reiley “he had texted his friends goodbye and told them he had nothing to live for.”

After talking to the student for about 30 minutes, Reiley convinced the unnamed male student to move back from the ledge of the five story structure.

The student, who was either a freshman or a sophomore, was eventually placed on a mental health hold and received treatment. The university says the student eventually returned to Cal Poly to continue his education.

“It was Officer Reiley’s proactive patrols and observation skills that allowed him to see the student on the ledge and his communication skills that allowed him to stop the student from committing suicide and obtain the needed support services that allowed him to continue his degree path, ultimately saving his life,” UPD Deputy Police Chief Brenda Trobaugh said.

On Wednesday, during the CSU Board of Trustees’ meeting, Reiley was awarded the inaugural CSU lifesaving medal.

“I’m glad I was able to get a student help when he needed it,” Reiley said.

Reiley has served in a variety of roles during his 12 years with the Cal Poly Police Department, including crime prevention officer, field training officer, range master and his current position as a K-9 officer working with his dog partner Brisant.

Officer Chad Reiley and Brisant (Photo courtesy Cal Poly)