Aubrey Akers / Sun Staff Photographer

Cornell Police Officer Ronald Rogers, center, was honored Monday by a local group and by the department's chief, Kathy Zoner, left.

August 22, 2017

Cornell Police Officer Honored for Hoisting Man From Edge of Bridge

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A local group honored Officer Ronald Rogers of the Cornell University Police Department on Monday and commended him for pulling a young man back from the edge of a bridge on campus.

Rogers arrived at the bridge over Triphammer Falls and Beebe Lake on May 2 at about 2:30 a.m. and hoisted a man back over the railing in an incident that has not been previously reported.

The Ithaca-Cayuga Kiwanis Club recognized Rogers for his potentially life-saving act by designating him as the Officer of the Month for August during a luncheon ceremony at Kendal at Ithaca.

Monday was the third time that Rogers, who has been a member of the department since 1994, received the Officer of the Month award.

Rogers “is a leader in community engagement,” CUPD Police Chief Kathy Zoner told The Sun. “Ron is an extremely well-rounded officer. His level of engagement with the community is very high, and he has no complaints.”

In an interview, Rogers remained humble, noting that his early-morning heroics were only possible because of a young woman’s report to CUPD.

The woman called the department to alert its officers that the young man who was standing on the other side of the railing, and she stayed with him until Rogers arrived.

“Timeliness is important,” he said. “If she didn’t call when she saw him, who knows what would’ve happened. If people see something, they shouldn’t hesitate to report it.”

After Rogers lifted the man to safety, the officer transported the man to the hospital.

Another member of the department, Sgt. Steve Shirley, was on vacation this summer when a young boy began floundering in a hotel pool, according to a Facebook post from CUPD.

Shirley raced into the pool, carried the young boy to safety and cleared his airway before paramedics arrived at the scene, the department said.

“Heroes never take a holiday,” CUPD said in the post, next to a photograph of Shirley and the boy who he saved. CUPD said the young man fully recovered from the frightening experience.