Some people who are obviously suffering from mental illness say they are Jesus, and some say the devil talks to them. Still, others believe the CIA or other secretive agencies here or around the world are after them.
One well-dressed lady came to the Sheriff’s Office to complain the CIA was bombarding her house with some kind of ray gun that could damage her health and that of her family. This lady was well versed and had a good job. Her husband was a leader in his field.
This lady had also claimed her house was wired so the CIA could listen in on her conversations. She insisted the senior officer taking the report come and inspect her house and remove the listening devices.
The deputy realized she wasn’t putting him on, but was deadly serious. As gently as he could, he explained this did not make sense. He stated, “Why would the CIA pick you out to harass?” Well, she still insisted the deputy check her story out.
The deputy told her that if she would talk to a psychologist about her problem and then still needed help, he would do what she asked.
A few days later the lady came back and told the deputy she had counseled with the psychologist and still wanted him to check her house out for radio “bugs.”
After this the deputy took another deputy with him and checked her house out from front to back. He reported to this nice lady there were no CIA listening devices. Apparently she was satisfied, because she never came back to complain.
This ranking deputy was called out to check on a senior citizen and his elderly wife who were living in a little frame house with no electricity and little food. They would not open the door, even after our deputy called out several times. For their safety the deputy forced open the back door.
The old man was waiting near the door with a shotgun in his hand. Fortunately, the gun was in disrepair and would not fire. His wife, who was almost starved, was so emaciated she died in a health facility a few weeks later.
Furniture and mattresses were stacked against the windows and the two doors. The man thought he was being attacked with gamma rays by people from outer space. He also had aluminum foil on the windows to deflect these deadly light beams. It is another case where sheriff’s deputies got there just in time.
Then, the call came in that “Rambo” was attacking his sister. He had a large knife and had been lying in wait on the back porch roof for her. We sent one of our experienced fighters of extra-terrestrials and unseen menaces.
As it turned out, “Rambo” had tried living in the wilds of Polk County’s national forest for a few weeks. He had left his comfortable house in Bradley County to live like “Rambo,” a fictional veteran of Vietnam. This complainant was never in the armed services and, apparently, had quit taking his medication.
The deputy made a reservation at Moccasin Bend Mental Hospital for a couple of weeks to help regulate the mental patient’s medicine.
Well, this same deputy encountered “Rambo” again about 18 months later. This time “Rambo” had set up housekeeping in his van on some private land. The deputy had him move. “Rambo” remembered the deputy from being arrested by him before, but did not cause any more problems.
There are certainly many other humorous stories we could tell, but there is always a very sad side to these stories. Children, siblings, parents and grandparents all have to deal constantly with those with mental illness and emotional problems. Even with a constant burden, these loved ones often see the humorous side of the bizarre behavior.
There are some very dangerous mentally ill people who we have to subdue and take into custody. The deputy must always keep his or her guard up when confronted with this kind of violence. That’s because a person not in his right mind is totally unpredictable. That person who may have been compliant the last time he was confronted by the deputy may be armed the next time with a knife or other weapon, and completely out of control.
Even the experienced deputy is subject to being mauled or killed in a sudden attack. It happens too often all around the country. The deputy is supposed to go home to his or her family, safe and sound at the end of the shift.
This is just another facet of peacekeeping by your Sheriff’s Office.
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Thanks for reading.