Tuesday, January 30, 2018

Veterans Help Sheriff's Department to Help PTSD Veterans

Local veterans reach out to sheriff's office to help veterans struggling with PTSD
Payson Roundup
by Alexis Bechman roundup staff reporter
Jan 30, 2018

After reading that sheriff’s deputies had shot and killed a disturbed young veteran who had threatened deputies with a shotgun, two local Vietnam veterans were moved to do something.

Bud Huffman and Jim Muhr left the service decades ago, but have had to cope with post-traumatic stress disorder ever since.

Now they hope to reach out to other local veterans struggling to avoid another such tragedy.

In June, Jacob Brown had a PTSD attack on his birthday near his home in Beaver Valley Estates. Frightened, Brown’s wife fled the area with their children and went to Prescott to stay with family. Alone, Brown stormed around the two-story rental. Surveillance cameras, which Brown had installed inside and outside the home, picked up his movements.

On the phone, Brown told his uncle he wanted to kill himself, but couldn’t reach the trigger on his shotgun. His uncle called 911 for help. The two deputies had moved onto the porch with guns drawn when Brown stormed out of his home. Brown ignored orders to put down his weapon, so the officers fired on him.

“When I read that article it broke my heart,” Muhr said. “There are a lot of veterans that need a lot of help. Bud and I wanted to do something and with our backgrounds in PTSD, we felt we understand what veterans are going through.”

Both Muhr and Huffman recently met with GCSO supervisors, deputies and correctional officers in both Payson and Globe to offer their assistance as members of the Payson Veterans Advocacy Committee. Generally, officers have little training in how to deal with someone suffering from PTSD and the sheriff’s office doesn’t have a special unit to deal with things like a confrontation with a mentally ill person or even a hostage-taking situation.
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