On Wednesday, Jan. 23, the CSU Chancellor’s Office recognized University Police Department (UPD) Officer Chad Reiley and six others for saving a life while on duty at a CSU campus.

Reiley, who has worked for UPD for 12 years now, was among the first to receive the California State University (CSU) Lifesaving Medal.

On Nov. 10, 2016, Reiley saw a Cal Poly underclassman standing on the ledge of the fifth story of the Village Drive parking structure while on patrol. 

“Using his excellent observation skills he spotted someone on the ledge of the top floor of the structure, and he then used his excellent communication skills to build a rapport with the student,” UPD Deputy Chief Brenda Trobaugh said.

According to a Cal Poly news release, the student told Reiley he had already said goodbye to loved ones and that he had no reason to live. Reiley reportedly spent about 30 minutes talking with the student, until the student made the decision to step away from the ledge.

Reiley was nominated for the CSU Lifesaving Medal by UPD for his actions that evening.

Beyond talking the student away from the ledge, Reiley followed up by helping to connect him with mental health resources, according to Trobaugh. The student involved in the incident returned to Cal Poly after being on a mental health hold and was able to continue his undergraduate career, according to a news release.

In the future, the CSU Chancellor’s Office will be annually honoring officers who have been instrumental in saving a life on their campuses with the CSU Lifesaving Medal.

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