Lubbock Police Officer Mario Sandoval, a Hometown Hero

LUBBOCK, TX (KCBD) - We see them all around but many of us don't stop and think twice about what they do.

"They always see police officers giving tickets or working traffic accidents," said 23-year-old officer Mario Sandoval with the Lubbock Police Department.

But police officers risk their lives every time they clock in.

"We don't have a choice, that's part of the risk you take when you sign up to do this job," Sandoval said.

Last week, we told you about a Lubbock police officer who sprung into action and rescued a suicidal teen straddling an overpass along I-27.

Mario Sandoval is that officer.

"I responded to the house and the family was distraught. They were like 'Our son left, he was thinking about killing himself' but they didn't know how," he said.

"The hardest part was telling them I don't know where your son is and I don't know if he's going to be ok but I can go try and find him."

In Sandoval's dash cam footage, you can see officers slowly approach the teen who had one leg on the ground and the other dangling off the overpass. The policemen instantly pull him to safety and try to calm him down.

"For him to think like he did and get those officers going and get the supervisor on route, get the negotiator going and not have that stress just go through the roof is really pretty profound," said Sgt. Jason Lewis.

Sandoval has only been with the department for two years. But this isn't his first time dealing with an intense situation.

In February of this year, Joshua Martinez, 20, and a 16-year-old male assaulted a Texas Tech student and stole her car. Sandoval spotted the car thirty minutes later which led to a high-speed chase.

"Your heart is pounding and racing but the whole time you're just worried about not hurting yourself or others," said Sandoval.

Sandoval took an oath to protect and serve and that is exactly what he strives to do every time he clocks in.

"Telling a family 'It's going to be alright' or putting some guy where he needs to be, at the end of the day when you go home, you can say you helped someone out."

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