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| Personal Security|
Being safe in our home, in our car, and at work is something that each of us should think about, and is a matter of striking an intelligent and informed balance between locking ourselves away in a fortress, and being reckless. Statistics will show that the chance of being involved in personal, violent crime is minimal; however, you should still take efforts to reduce that chance as much as possible while enjoying people and places without worry.
Here are some time-tested strategies for staying safe:
- Have good locks, and use them, even in the middle of the day. Keep the garage door locked. Don't give anyone the chance to sneak in unannounced. If it's a hot day, at least keep the screen door locked.
- NEVER admit anyone into your home you don't know, or were not expecting. The only people who have a right to enter your home against your objection are police officers, always with at least one in uniform, and with a few rare exceptions, with a search warrant signed by a judge.
- If someone at your door needs help, you can call 9-1-1 for them. Unless you know them, don't let them in.
- Get a dog and let them protect you.
- If anyone bullies, threatens, or annoys you for any reason, call the police at 9-1-1. We will respond immediately and take care of them.
- Don't give out personal information on the telephone to people you don't know.
- Keep any firearms locked up and secured.
In your car:
- Keep your car full of gas and in good condition.
- Bring your dog with you.
- If you travel at night or far from home, have a cell phone. If you can, call the police on their full 10-digit number, not 9-1-1. Have those numbers pre-programmed.
- Keep your doors locked and windows up.
- If there are people hanging around your car, get someone to go with you to where it is parked and stay with you until you drive off.
- If you are being followed, go to any open public place, go inside, and call 9-1-1. Or, call the police from your cell phone, if you can safely.
- If you are driving, remember, you are still responsible to other drivers for operating your vehicle safely. Speeding, or running red lights and stop signs to get away from someone just places you and others in additional danger.
If caught in a violent crime, such as a robbery:
- In a street robbery, give up valuables- they can be replaced.
- Force yourself to KEEP THINKING, DON'T PANIC, and NEVER GIVE UP.
- As soon as you have an opportunity or opening to run away, do so. Get distance between you and anyone threatening you. Get to any public place. If there are two of you, run in opposite directions. Do whatever you have to do to get help coming. Opportunities for escape diminish rapidly over time.
- DO NOT ASSUME people will see and understand what is going on, or correctly conclude a crime is taking place unless you tell them. YOU MUST SPECIFICALLY TELL people that you are IN IMMEDIATE DANGER, and you want them to call 9-1-1 for you.
- In a hostage situation, DO NOT threaten, get aggressive with the hostage takers, or try to be a hero without a specific plan and the ability to carry it out. And, do not sympathize with, or over-comply with any demands they may have.
- Avoid being either subservient to, or aggressive with someone threatening you.
- RESIST BEING KIDNAPPED, and be willing to sustain some predictable, but manageable physical injury to get away. While we are dealing with unknown factors, victims are almost always in a worse situation if they are further restrained, sequestered, or transported away from a primary crime scene.
In public places:
- Travel on the public streets, and avoid short cuts.
- Go with a friend.
- Bring your dog.
- Be aware of what's going on around you- focus on the business of getting to your destination.
- Avoid drunks, groups of rowdy, disorderly individuals, and anyone acting in a bizarre, angry, or odd manner.
- If you must meet strangers, do so in a public place, with others around. MAKE SURE someone knows where you are going. Always bring your cell phone.
ALWAYS TRUST YOUR INSTINCTS AND GUT SENSE. If any person, or situation makes you uncomfortable, it is for a good reason. Don't blindly proceed and have your fears realized.