Clatsop Behavioral Healthcare's clinical operational officer, Shyra Merila, was honored during an Astoria City Council meeting last week.

Merila assisted police in July when the Astoria Bridge closed for several hours after a man climbed up the stairs to the top observation deck. Merila walked up the stairs with officers and spoke with the man until he agreed to come down.

"Ms. Merila's willingness to assist in this case, placing her own life at risk, is an example of the highest operating standard of any mental health professional," Mayor Bruce Jones said. "And in keeping with the quality of services the city of Astoria receives and has come to expect from CBH."

Police Chief Geoff Spalding thanked Merila and honored her with the department's distinguished service commendation and a challenge coin.

Spalding also thanked the agency's executive director, Amy Baker, for her leadership.

"We're all frustrated sometimes by the lack of resources," Spalding said. "It makes it tougher to do our jobs. But clearly, in this day in age, you have to work closer together, and we look forward to our continued partnership in these difficult times."

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