Kevin Briggs

Golden Gate guardian
As a member of the California Highway Patrol with assignments including patrolling the Golden Gate Bridge, Sergeant Kevin Briggs and his staff are the last barriers between would-be suicides and the plunge to near-certain death.

Why you should listen

The Golden Gate Bridge is an iconic landmark of unparalleled beauty and attracts swarms of visitors every year. Tragically, also among them are hundreds of suicidal men and women.

As a member of the CHP for over twenty-three years, with the majority of those years patrolling the Golden Gate Bridge, Sgt. Briggs discovered early that his job required him to take on an unusual role for a police officer: suicide prevention counselor. As a cancer survivor and survivor of multiple heart operations, Briggs’ familiarity with personal struggle bonds him with suicidal men and women. With simple empathy, an instinct for improvisation and a refusal to walk away, Briggs has negotiated several hundred people from suicide on the Golden Gate Bridge. As he told the SF Chronicle, "I've talked to people from ten minutes to seven hours. I very much despise losing. I do whatever I can to get that person back over the rail. I play to win." Sgt. Briggs retired from the CHP in November 2013.

What others say

“Since 1994, through sheer compassion and expert listening skills, Sgt. Briggs has helped convince more than 200 people on the precipice of death not to take their lives.” — People, Oct. 3, 2013

Kevin Briggs’ TED talks

Kevin Briggs on the TED Blog

Live from TED2014

In case you missed it: Day 5 of TED2014

March 22, 2014

This year’s packed conference came to a close on March 21, 2014: Day 5 at TED2014. Here are some highlights from this Friday: Mark Ronson ruled the dance floor On Thursday night, Mark Ronson DJ’d for TEDsters. Bent over the mixing board under a neon green TED sign, he tied all the music back to […]

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Live from TED2014

Hope on the Golden Gate Bridge: Sergeant Kevin Briggs at TED2014

March 21, 2014

Sergeant Kevin Briggs recently retired from the California Highway Patrol after 23 years of service, the majority of which included patrolling the southern end of Marin County, which includes the Golden Gate Bridge. And that means that he has frequently responded to suicide attempts. The bridge, while an iconic structure, has also been the site […]

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Live from TED2014

Unstress: Speakers in Session 11 at TED2014

March 21, 2014

We live most of our lives wired and wound up, rarely pausing to relax or unplug from the daily grind. Our speakers in this session discuss the consequences of our ever-hectic lives, and remind us of the qualities we sometimes forget to foster. They include an author discussing why modern parenthood is out of whack, […]

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