“Jumper Down…!!!”

Newburgh, NY. 28•July•09

Real news, breaking right here close to home, no less. Today was exactly like my days working the streets in NYC, particularly in these hot, steamy summer months. Preparing to start my afternoon shift with a last minute assignment at police HQ here in my town, I got a call from my colleague – reporter Doyle Murphy; “We’ve got a jumper in the water off the (Newburgh – Beacon) Bridge.” All I remember now was hurriedly putting away food here in my kitchen and getting one of my personal Nikon D-1X’s and a 300mm f/2.8 with a tele-extender together to head out under the bridge at the river’s edge here not far from my apt. What a great view of the bridge from the shoreline condos that are completely hidden away in that part of town. *(note to self: return to this location for file images of the bridge…) After speaking with the desk and relaying that I’ve made the State Police helicopter & rescue boats and it didn’t appear that they’ve found the jumper, I was then directed back to the original assignment back at police HQ. Bummer, I kept mumbling to myself as I know in some of these cases a jumper can be found alive – as previous jumpers have survived off the Tappan Zee Bridge. Spent about an hour at police HQ for a story on their dept. receiving nearly $1M in federal funding for more officers, etc. I secretly wanted to be back on the river. Finishing up the shift change with the cops, I made my way back to the river, where a local Tee-Vee freelance cameraman was now on the scene. Managed to wait out what was now a recovery scene for two hours and shot everything but the body removal from a rescue boat. Even if the paper had no need to publish a “body bag” photo, I strongly believe if the deceased is a notable person, it’s an image that has to be made. In a week or so, we’d want the picture right…? After finishing my edits at home and sending in a few images from the initial rescue scene of the SP helicopter and the static images of the police briefing, another call from reporter Murphy before 8PM; “You interested in checking out a fire…?
I can see the dark smoke from my house…” Doyle lives a few blocks down from me here in the city, so we’ve developed a good feel for working together, especially on spot news events. “Hasbrouck & S. Miller.”

“Sure”, I reply. “I’ll be there in 10 minutes…”

Just like the old days. -cg.

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