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“Guardian of the Golden Gate” spent career preventing suicides


For 23 years, retired California Highway Patrol Sergeant Kevin Briggs patrolled the Golden Gate Bridge for suicide jumpers. He talked hundreds of people off the ledge and back onto the bridge and earned the nickname, “The Guardian of the Golden Gate.” His powers of persuasion were the doorway between life and death. Sometimes, unfortunately, they just weren’t enough.

More people commit suicide by jumping off the Golden Gate Bridge than anywhere else in the world. That may change soon. Officials are close to authorizing a $66 million suicide net that will save dozens of lives. Last year, Kevin Briggs retired to work on suicide prevention full-time. I spoke with him about his experiences on the bridge.

BRIGGS: "We live forever with what could we have done better - what could we have changed. Even if we couldn’t."

Click the player above to listen to the full interview.

Crosscurrents San Francisco
Hana Baba is host of Crosscurrents, KALW's weeknight newsmagazine that broadcasts on KALW Public Radio in the San Francisco Bay Area.