You probably already know that in recent years cops have embraced social media as a tool for finding criminals. Ray Kelly often touts Operation Crew Cut, which uses the Facebook activity of alleged gang members to string together charges of organized crime, as one of the main reasons why the murder rate has dropped off so much recently. But that's not the only thing cops use Facebook for: Port Authority cops successfully reached out to a suicidal 18-year-old who threatened to jump off the George Washington Bridge yesterday. “We've used Facebook to verify a threat and access pictures, but this is the first time we’ve used social media to reach out to someone in a case like this," said Port Authority Lt. Thomas Michaels.

The unidentified 18-year-old NJ resident posted a picture of the GW Bridge with the words “I'm thinking of jumping" on his Facebook page on Tuesday afternoon. A friend saw the post and contacted the Port Authority Police Department; Michaels gave out a Facebook photo of the college student to his officers, and left a message on the teen’s Facebook page with his number, encouraging him to call him.

And he did. “He was a young kid in a really bad place. We talked about it for a while, and I told him about my troubles in college,” Michaels told the News. “Then he told me he was in a bus (near the bridge), and we started talking about some of the stops coming up. And I convinced him to get off at one of the stops.” The teen did get off the bus at the next stop, and was taken to a local hospital for observation.

If someone you know exhibits warning signs of suicide: do not leave the person alone, remove any firearms, alcohol, drugs or sharp objects that could be used in a suicide attempt, and call the U.S. National Suicide Prevention Lifeline at 800-273-TALK (8255) or take the person to an emergency room or seek help from a medical or mental health professional.