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October 5, 2017

How to Identify ‘Crazies?’

Harry M. Covert

While chaos from the Las Vegas catastrophe still looms large, safety and security remains first and foremost on the minds and duties of all public officials.


This is not over speak or extra alert. It’s reality. Normal living requires added attention for suspicious people and objects everywhere.


It’s easy to regard – or say a person is – crazy or nuts. It’s virtually impossible to see an individual and report them mentally ill. After the fact of a horrible act, everybody is an expert with 20/20 vision.


One of the best sworn officers I’ve known is now retired is Sherman, a sweet and brilliant Labrador retriever. This magnificent animal was and still is sidekick to retired Alexandria, VA., deputy sheriff John O’Hara. What a team they were. Sherman could sense drugs and bombs almost instantly. He did, too, and was rewarded with a nice treat.


Sherman never forgot people.


There are many other sworn men and women who daily come face-to-face with deficient individuals. This is a tough job and dangerous, too.


How to identify those dangerous people is beyond simple and easy.


An umpire friend was working an American Legion baseball doubleheader. After the first game, the ump was changing equipment at his car. Suddenly a man with a rifle cocked, threatening to kill him.


Fans and parents saw the incident and managed to subdue the angry drunken man.


Police arrived quickly. The problem was this individual learned his catcher son missed out on a Virginia athletic scholarship for failing high school exams. Broken hearted.


Fortunately no shot was fired. The father was sentenced to mental health hospitalization.


Sadly, the Mandalay Bay horror was not caught in advance. Who could have predicted a multi-millionaire’s massive shootings?


All the psychics, palm readers and magic makers did not and could not make an advance warning.


However, to the present, let’s hope and pray that copy cats and those with mental problems will be found before other tragedies occur.


With high school football games in heavy season, collegiate teams and even the Sunday proceedings drawing crowds, alertness is vital.


It’s not merely popular sporting events or concerts that must be protected. Everyday shoppers at the malls, grocery stores, gas stations, and popular restaurants must be prepared, just in case.


Not everyone who shoots, stabs or kills is crazy. Others are extremely mean and angry.


All peace officers at every level, criminal lawyers and judges know there are crazies and vicious people. Men and women of the cloth know, too.


How to combat evil? Real answers, please.


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