Each month in 2012, the Cooper-Young Safety Committee will use this space to offer up advice, tips or tricks on common safety issues — everything from annual home maintenance to emergency preparation. Cooper-Young residents have always recognized that small actions can make huge differences when it comes to the safety of our neighborhood. Our hope is that everyone can and will play their part to help make our neighborhood the most desirable and safest place to live, worship, work and play.
Though we may have planned on starting with another topic, recent events have led us to believe it cannot hurt to go over some of the strategies for protecting yourself when you’re out and about. As Homer Simpson would say, let’s “safen up!”
Basic guidelines, from the Memphis Police Department, the National Crime Prevention Council, and community members:
- Stay alert and be aware of your surroundings. ―
- During the winter, when your ears might be covered, be even more vigilant and look around constantly.
- Walk with a sense of purpose. ―
- When out at night, try to have a friend walk with you.
- Go with your gut feelings. If you feel uncomfortable, leave.
- If you think someone is following you, switch directions or cross the street. If the person continues to follow you, move quickly toward an open store or restaurant or a lighted house. Don’t be afraid to yell for help.
- Don’t display your cash or any other inviting targets such as pagers, cell phones, hand-held electronic games, or expensive jewelry and clothing.
- Carry only the money you’ll need on a particular day. Ladies: Carry your purse firmly and close to your body or better yet leave it at home and only carry what you need in your pocket, such as a small amount of money, keys, and maybe one credit card. Gentlemen: Keep your wallet in an inside coat or side trouser pocket.
- Carry a decoy wallet filled with only a few dollars, in case you are approached and someone demands it.
- Park in well-lighted areas–Make sure they will be well-lighted when you return.
- Always lock your car–even if it’s in your driveway; never leave your motor running.
- Have your car or house key in your hand as you approach the door ― If attacked use those keys as weapons!
- Do not jog alone in isolated areas.
- If someone tries to rob you, give up your property—don’t give up your life.
We have seen a significant increase in the MPD’s visibility in the area, but they cannot be everywhere. Watch out for yourself and your neighbors, and don’t hesitate to report anything suspicious by calling 911 or 545-COPS. And if you think of other tips that might be useful for our neighbors, feel free to pass them along! You can reach us at firstname.lastname@example.org.