Monday, December 2, 2019


Some people are just plain crazy, they don’t start out that way though. Whatever trauma triggered the initial break was most likely never resolved and as a result it causes mental instability. This can be seen in several ways when dealing with people; sometimes it is in a form of sacrifice, a religious dedication, or even just fixation on certain objects or symbols. 
To someone normal it just appears as it is intended, however to someone that is experiencing a mental instability it may appear as something totally different. This can cause the person to act out, exhibit strange behaviors, and even at times harm themselves. 
I say all this to state the fact that Law Enforcement Officers are not mental health specialists, some have seen or been through enough situations that they sort of know what to do, but as a collective we are not mental health specialists. If the situation is going south, that officer is going to lean on his/her training and go from there. At some point the talking will stop and order will be restored one way or another. Understand that all LEOs want the best from every situation, but sometimes there is no good resolution and with experience all LEOs come to terms with that fact.
It was a normal day on patrol, I had a few calls for service, and the day was moving along as it should for a weekday. The morning goes by without any major incidents, and the afternoon was at that point where you’d be foolish to be driving in all the traffic if you didn’t have to. 
The next call for service came out as a Suspicious Person, the interpretation of what meets the standards of “Suspicious” can be argued all day long so just know that someone thought this female subject was acting out of the norm so they called it in as they passed by. I have dealt with many of these type of calls throughout my career and have learned that all are different, thus treat every one of them as if it is the first one. 
I get close to the scene, specifically into a position where I can observe the female subject without her knowing I am watching her. I observed the woman walking up and down the street from corner to corner, when she got to the corner and the street light was red she’d enter the roadway and attempt to speak to each car stopped at the light. Some people would speak to her, others would just pretend she wasn’t present as they proceeded through the intersection.
At this point I started exploring what elements I’ve observed and asking myself the question is anything illegal occurring. At face value it appeared as if the woman was simply panhandling at each intersection, or she was potentially soliciting of some sort and fishing for clients at each intersection. Either way, the subject’s behavior would meet my standards for being “suspicious” in nature. Thus, I intended to get to the bottom of what was going on. 
Long story short, I stopped several of the vehicles the female subject was observed speaking to and discovered that the woman was walking up to cars at both intersections asking drivers if they were her parents. Based off the statements obtained, it was obvious to me that the woman was experiencing a mental instability having to do with the potential loss of her parents and would need further evaluation from a mental health specialist. The female subject ended up being a “regular” at mental health, thus they knew what was wrong with her and how to resolve it effectively.
The point of the discussion is that some people are just crazy and will exhibit strange behaviors. Those behaviors can be the sign that something isn’t right to onlookers, or it can be a clue that the person is about to exhibit a certain behavior. In this situation, at face value it appeared as if the female subject was panhandling or soliciting of some sort. However, it was revealed that she was searching for her parents’ one car at a time. 
To a normal person this is not normal behavior, but to her it is completely rational and that is the point. The understanding that the individual is not normal and could be possibly experiencing a mental breakdown or episode. This is a topic that can be applied to variety of situations and interpreted differently from person to person. However, the fact is….some people are just crazy!
Mental Instability…or Criminal Mastermind?!