Mental Health America of Eastern Missouri has awarded Maplewood Police Officer Levonston Hall the John J. McAtee Award, which recognizes officers who have shown compassion, concern and understanding when interacting with a person who has mental illness.
The association said Levonston made a difference in the life of a person during a psychiatric crisis when he helped a Maplewood resident when he responded in a non-traditional manner.
According to Maplewood Chief of Police Stephen Kruse, Hall was dispatched to the 7200 block of Anna Avenue on Dec. 30, 2016 on a report of a distraught person threatening to kill himself with a knife.
When Hall arrived he saw a man sitting on the curb who appeared distressed and incoherent. The man was holding a large knife in his had and began moving it back and forth in a cutting motion making it look like he was going to cut his wrist.
Hall quickly determined the man was a military veteran and established rapport with him; Hall is a U.S. Marine Corps veteran. After gaining the the man’s trust, he was able to remove the knife from his hand. He called an ambulance, which took the man to a hospital for psychiatric evaluation and treatment.