The student, who was in a mental health crisis, specifically asked for Jonathan Bransfield.
The incident highlights just how powerful the connection between students and law enforcement can be.
Bransfield says being a good person, kind and approachable is the key to building relationships with students.
“To be someone these kids will be able to see beyond the uniform they see,” Bransfield said. “Let them see you.”
He said the most powerful tool he carries is a conversation.
“Kids can literally walk in and say, ‘Hey, Deputy B, I’m having a tough time,’” he said. Come on, let’s sit down and talk about this. That’s why I’m here.”
That connection with students was put to the test Wednesday night when Bransfield received a call from the Kansas City, Missouri, police.
Someone saw the teen climbing the Worlds of Fun water tower and called the police.
Kansas City police found the teen still climbing the tower.
He almost made it to the top of the tower, which is about 115 feet high.
The person the teen said he most wanted to talk to was Representative Bransfield.
He wanted to say goodbye and thank the deputy for all his help.
Bransfield arrived a few minutes later and struck up a 40-minute conversation with the teen.
He said his personal connection with the teen, built by helping coach football, is what finally emerged.
“So I asked him and I said, ‘Hey, what I told you during football, do you remember?’
Bransfield told the boy to repeat the advice he gave him during football practice.
“Keep the pad level and keep moving your feet. And I said, ‘Exactly’. And I said, ‘So it’s like life man, you just got knocked down. So now you have to get up, you have to adjust the low pad level and you have to keep moving your feet until you reach that end zone.”
The personal connection he had been building turned out to be a lifeline.
“He kept taking a step down and each time he took a step down he said, ‘One step at a time.’ And I would go with ‘One Day at a Time,’ Bransfield said. “Once he jumped and his feet hit the ground and he came to me and I wrapped him up and he just sobbed. And I just told him how proud of him I was.
Deputy Bransfield said the student is receiving treatment and will be there to help him through his recovery.