17 May 2010


From the Cop side: One of the topics that most police officers will become very knowledgeable on is the topic of mental illness. Most cops deal with the mentally ill on a regular basis…..if they don’t know this, they just aren’t paying attention. I suspect most of the citizens who call the police all the time for no real reason, are mentally ill.

After doing this for over 30 years, I won’t ever say: “I’ve seen it all” because I haven’t…but I’ve seen a lot of shit.
From the 80's...CI in his old Roller, one of the worst patrol cars ever made!

In California we have a code we use for calls of this nature. It is from the Welfare & Institutions section 5150. This section of law give us coppers the authority to get a mentally ill person into an institution for a “72 hour evaluation.”
The Fords were a big improvement in the early 90's

It’s funny, but some cops actually think that the docs and the nut shop are really always going to hold somebody for 72 hours. Sometimes they do and sometimes they don’t. …most of the time nothing gets done to put the lug nuts back on their wheels. The system is broken and they expect the cops to be able to fix it all.

I’ve had good cop friends who’ve had to deal with crazies many, many times…as the cop watches the person get worse each day. I can think of a case from not too long ago where the 5150 came at the coppers with a knife. Other methods failed…and the .40 cal worked. No cop ever wants to have to take a life, but it’s better than letting the crazy take yours—and they will if you let them.

However, these folks, in most cases cannot help it. If somebody had a broken arm or was bleeding, all good folks would wanna’ help them. But when it comes to mental illness, everybody wants to run away and let the cops deal with it. Most of the time Most of these people are harmless, but often annoying. Some wouldn’t harm a fly, and others would cut your heart out and eat if they could. How can you tell the difference?

We can’t. All cops should use these basic rules of engagement.

1.) Treat all people with dignity and respect…but have a plan to kill them if needed.

2.) We bring a gun to a knife fight.

3.) If the bad guy has a pistol, bring a rifle or shotgun and bring lots of other cops.

4.) If a bad guy wants to fight with his hands, we use tools- batons, pepper spray, Vulcan neck grip, etc

Now, don’t get me wrong…sometimes these folks can be very entertaining. I don’t know what it is, but I lost track over the years of how many crazy folks told me something like: “The CIA is watching me. I know they are listening to my thoughts right now…”

I heard this so often that I started to do a few things to help these crazy folks. First I told them: “Did you know it’s against US law for the CIA to gather intell in the US? It’s really the FBI who’s watching you.”

That would get their heads spinning.

The more recent method of helping these folks is when I locate a few who think the CIA is watching them….then I tell the crazy that the other crazy is working for the CIA, so they better watch out.

Or the one nut who one quiet Saturday morning decided to walk into somebody's house out of the blue and see if they had any mail for him.  He just walked in the front door, stopped, looked around and walked to where a pile of mail was. 
The folks living there of course called 911 and my partner and I arrived.  The nut was very quiet and polite.  He didn't run or do anything else wrong, but look through all the mail. 
My partner tried asking the nut why he came to that house and why he thought they would have his mail. 
The nut responded with: "I heard voices telling me to walk into this house."
Without blinking, I looked at him and said: "Can you hear my voice telling you to never do that again?" 

He did hear my voice and left without further incident. 

Oh, I know….I’m going to hell…but I’ll at least have a front row seat.

It was not all fun and games…there were those we had to fight to get some into the rubber room and hope the nurse could get the “shot” into the loony’s arm before they broke the grip we had.


Coffeypot said...

Save me a seat...or I'll save you one.

Momma Fargo said...

I hope you are still driving those 80s g rides. LMAO. Sweet! Do they even get over 60 mph? MWAAHAAAHHAA. Enjoyed your post. And yes, I hear voices, too. Don't even try that trick with me. :)

CI-Roller Dude said...

CP, Do you hear voices?

MF, The diplomats were such a POS! I remember rolling onto the freeway, hitting the lights and siren...and still having the bus go faster than the Diplomat!
It didn't help that our mechanic sucked and didn't tune them up right...but even when they were new, they were crap. Little 318 V8 POS!

When Ford came out with the new patrol cars in the early 90's we were so happy...then the Crown Vics came up and they were much better.

Coffeypot said...


Saker said...

And then you hope that these people don't get into the military. Some people are scarily good at hiding their crazy, and then they're threatening to shoot everyone and you have to steal their firing pin.

CI-Roller Dude said...

CP- try ear plugs (can you hear me?)

Saker, Oh I found a lot of 5150's in the military! I am not joking, but if I had run into some of them on the streets of California instead of them being in leadership positions in Iraq or Bosnia, I would have taken them down to the marble factory and had their marbles counted.
Like the psycobitch E-7 in charge of the "job" at Mosoul...or the crazy LTC at Telefare who would get on the Stryker and just start firing at people for no reason because nobody was going to say anything.

Anonymous said...

1. Lotsa crazies in the military.
2. Post VN, ran into a fair amount of delusional behavior from combat vets with a load on. That was considered a sort of norm -such were "advised" by those who had to put up with them not to drink or abuse drugs.
3. In Basic Training, people tried to act crazy to get out of the Army. They were almost always ignored or put up with.(Draft era stuff)
4. Where I ran into mucho serious crazies was the USMC.
5. Only 60% of my boot camp graduating platoon were originals.
6. A fair portion of the 40% that fell by the wayside had psychological issues.
7. Pushing troops, learned to weed out the crazies fast.
8. Any display of irrational behavior put them under the big spotlight. A second instance and they were handed over to the Navy for evaluation.
9. Something about the Corps attracted them. Have not seen so many clinical specimens before or since.
10. Crazies wreak havoc in a tight, barracked organization that is engaged in hazardous activity.
11. Lest I create a wrong impression: the vast majority of my troops were fine young men.
12. From a leadership perspective, the problem children took up a disproportionate share of my time. They bulk larger in the memory log than they, maybe, should.
13. On the topic of the LVTP-7 -it's a big SOB.
14. After I saw the Russian stuff, hated all the high profile US vehicles.
15. The LVTP-7 is ten feet tall. Your photo proves that.
16. Talked to the project officer on the EFV (the successor). After he stopped gushing about the thing, asked him if it had a lower profile. Well, no, it didn't.
17. Think the EFV got canceled, anyway -probably for the best.
18. Get shot at a couple times and the idea of a low profile becomes very appealing.
19. All our stuff looks like houses on tracks.
20. You look like someone I would rather avoid -professionally....
V/R JWest