As my loyal readers know, this dedicated columnist often leaves the comfort and security of the Advocate’s ivory tower (where every office has a Jacuzzi, wet bar and a statue of our publisher), and ventures into the jungle and chaos of the naked city.

But after I leave PTs, I travel the back roads of Lake Highlands, searching for the untold story, the hidden profundity, the camouflaged curiosity, and the guy who stole my golf clubs.

Why? Because you deserve stories that convey the heart and soul of Lake Highlands. And for this month’s column, I went to the front lines to find out more about the guy who is the heart and soul of Lake Highlands.

But he was busy, so I made arrangements to spend the day with Lake Highlands’ beloved constable and ubiquitous community cheerleader, Mike Pappas.

Mike had graciously invited me to do this a long time ago. When I said I was finally ready to write a column about him, he seemed excited – or nervous – well, I remember he said he felt faint.

As you know, the office of constable has its origins in the Latin word “constabulus,” which means “one who does everything.” Mike was first elected Constable of Precinct 1 in 1992, after a much-heralded career in law enforcement in Farmers Branch, University Park and the Harris County Sheriff’s Department. Before that, you might remember him as one of the original members of the ’60s pop group, The Mammas and the Pappas.

We started the day by attending a meeting of one of the Greater Dallas Crime Commission committees. Mike and the other committee members fought crime for an hour. I had a doughnut.

Then we arrived at his office. Mike introduced me to his crack staff – but they don’t just handle drug problems. Two of the most interesting officers on Mike’s staff handle mental health complaints that are called in (for some reason, they seemed to already know my name). When a person is hallucinating, having a drug or alcohol episode, or experiencing a mental illness incident and threatening harm to himself or others, these guys are called to the scene to try to work it out and get the person to a doctor.

They actually let me ride with them on one of their calls. They seemingly effortlessly coaxed a very large man, who had been making threats of personal injury to others, out of his house. When he saw me, they had to start all over again. (Does he read my column?)

I observed that Mike runs a tight, extremely organized, but very easy-going office. His staff loves him. Mike spends most of his day being visible in the community, going from one meeting to the next, and truly living up to his office as “one who does everything.” We in Lake Highlands are fortunate to have him not only as our constable, but also as our neighbor and friend. (Note to Mike: I couldn’t read your last sentence, but let me know if I got everything else right.)