Personal safety and awareness

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Personal safety is based on the concept of prevention. Personal safety and awareness is what we do before we find ourselves in a potentially dangerous or violent situation. Making sure you know how to protect yourself and your family is the best way to make sure that you do not become a victim or statistic.

Source: Colorado Springs Police Department

General awareness

  • Stay alert – Be careful about relaxing in certain areas.
  • Keep your mind on your surroundings.
    • Who is around you?
    • What is around you?
    • Know where you are. Do not become lost.
    • Know the area layout, local stores, how to get in and out.
    • Know area fire department and law enforcement locations.
  • Be suspicious of everyone and everything.
  • Act confident. Walk with a purpose and use good posture. Make eye contact and speak to or greet people to let them know you have noticed them.
  • Trust your first instincts and do not justify your feelings.
  • Safety first. If you are suspicious, get out/away and report it.

Abduction prevention ideas

Avoid putting yourself in situations or circumstances that you know could be potentially dangerous. Follow your intuition and if a person or situation is making you uncomfortable, LEAVE immediately. Practice situational awareness, always know who and what is around you, where possible escape routes are, and what objects near at hand could be used as weapons if necessary. Never allow yourself to be moved. Your chances of survival are better at the initial attack location than they will be if you allow yourself to be taken by the criminal to a second location which is likely going to be remote and advantageous to the criminal. Try to remain calm, confident, and emotionally centered.

Train yourself to be a HARD TARGET with the following strategies:

  • Have boundaries - both emotional and physical - that you will allow no one to cross.
  • HAVE A PLAN before something happens!
  • Mentally prepare ahead of time for the possibility of being attacked.
  • Ask yourself the “what if game…?” to start acquiring a survival mindset.
  • Keep your head up, alert and aware of your surroundings.
  • Have a confident, purposeful walk and demeanor.
  • Project an erect, assertive posture.
  • Be sure that expensive items, jewelry, or valuables are not visible.
  • Do not carry too many things at once; keep at least one arm/hand free.
  • Wear non-restrictive clothing and shoes that you could run or fight in if needed.

If you are attacked do everything possible to get away! Your defensive options include:

  • Run, move away, distance yourself from the danger.
  • Verbalize. Yell out loud repetitive verbal commands such as:
    • “NO” “LET GO” “GET BACK” “STAY DOWN” “BACK OFF” or something similar.
    • Do not yell “FIRE” or “HELP,” plead and beg, or say things that make you seem passive and weak.
    •  Be assertive and do whatever you have to in order to get away and to safety.
    • Cause a commotion; call attention to the situation.
      • Honk your horn
      • Set off an alarm
      • Break things, throw things, act completely crazy!
    • Utilize physical defensive techniques or weapons if necessary.
    • Make it clear you will not give in.
    • Make it clear you WILL be a difficult victim.

Safety in and around your residence

  • Have good lighting at all entrances of your residence.
  • All outside doors should have deadbolt locks.
  • Sliding doors should have auxiliary locks to prevent lifting or sliding.
  • Never open your door to a stranger.
  • Make sure you know who is on the other side before opening.
  • Contact law enforcement if in doubt of who is at your door.
  • Do not enter if you come home and find a door or window open or broken.
  • Call law enforcement from a phone other than the phone in your residence.
  • If possible, DO NOT stop mail, newspapers, circulars, and deliveries if you go on vacation or will be away from home for a period of time. The fewer people who know you will be gone, the better. Have someone you trust visit your home regularly while you are away to check your mail and pick up newspapers or circulars. This provides activity at your house and it is less likely to look as if no one is home. Consider asking a neighbor to use your driveway for parking a car while you are gone.
  • No spare keys should be hidden around your residence. A stranger can find a hiding place if you can.
  • All important property in your residence should have a serial number assigned to it in case of theft. Document this information in a safe place.
  • Keep all doors and windows locked when you leave your residence.
  • Do not leave cash lying around your residence.

Driving safety if you are being followed

  • Be alert. Notice the same cars that often travel in your direction.
  • Use your rear view mirror and side mirrors to identify the vehicle.
  • Change streets or direction to see if the vehicle stays with you.
  • Obtain a license plate number and a description. Report it to the police via a cell phone if you have one.
  • Drive to a public location that is well-lighted, open, and where there are numerous people who may help. While driving to a police or fire station is an option and can act to deter your pursuer, many times there may be only one or two people present because the officers or firefighters are out on calls. Those present may be civilian staff or light duty officers.

Vehicle and parking safety

  • Keep your vehicle in good mechanical condition to avoid breakdowns.
  • Use common sense, lock your doors, and roll windows up when driving through unsafe areas.
  • Never give rides to strangers. Report motorists needing assistance to law enforcement.
  • Keep valuable items covered or locked in the trunk.
  • Do not get in the habit of traveling the same way to work every day.
  • Look before getting out of the vehicle if you are involved in a collision. Is it a simple collision or a carjacking attempt?

Personal theft prevention

  • Know the area in which you are walking or shopping.
  • Face the traffic flow when walking so you can see what is coming.
  • Walk in populated and well-lighted areas.
  • Do not become so focused on shopping that you forget your surroundings.
  • You cannot defend yourself if you are carrying too many items.
  • Walk with others or ask the mall or hospital for a security escort.
  • Do not be in a hurry. Think before you make an elevator or stair choice.
  • Look inside elevators and stairs before getting in. If someone in the elevator looks suspicious, do not get in!
  • Stand near the controls. This gives you control of the floors and the alarm.

Protect yourself when walking

  • Avoid walking alone at night unless absolutely necessary.
  • Call 911 to report suspicious persons or activity in or around your neighborhood.
  • Avoid shortcuts and dark, isolated areas.
  • Walk purposefully, know where you are going, and project a no-nonsense image.
  • Avoid potentially dangerous situations.
  • Cross the street, locate an emergency phone, or enter a store or place of business even if you have just left it if you feel threatened.
  • Have your keys ready; carry them in your hand, not buried in a purse or pocket.
  • Be familiar with how pepper spray works and have it available if you carry it.

For further information or training contact Crime Prevention Officer

  • Falcon Division, 719-444-7246
  • Gold Hill Division, 719-385-2117
  • Sand Creek Division, 719-444-7276
  • Stetson Hills Division, 719-444-3168