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City of Colorado Springs / Police / Crime Prevention & Neighborhood Watch / Crime / Personal Safety & Prevention / Personal Safety

Personal Safety and Awareness

A)   Stay alert – Be careful about relaxing in certain areas.
B)   Keep your mind on your surroundings.
  1. Who is around you? (Persons)
  2. What is around you? (Landscape, doors, cars, etc.)
  3. Know where you are. (Area lay out, how to get in and out, know Fire Dept., Police Dept. and local store locations) Do not become lost.
C)   Be suspicious of everyone and everything. (Report anything suspicious to police)

D)   Act confident.
  1. Walk with a purpose.
  2. Make eye contact.
  3. Use good posture.
  4. Speak at all greetings. (This tells people you have noticed them)
  5. Dress professional (this commands respect)
E)   Trust your 1st instincts. (Mother’s intuition, gut feelings, / do not justify your feelings)

F)   Safety 1st, if you are suspicious, get out / away & report it.

Police Department Reporting
A)   Non-Emergency - 444.7000     Emergency - 9 1 1
  1. Give your name, address, phone number and what you wish to report.
  2. Emergency calls. (This would be for a crime that is in progress, i.e. assault, burglary, traffic accident with injuries.)
  3. Cellular telephones – (When reporting to police, state where you are 1st, then what is happening, then your personal information. Cellular phones can cut out or disconnect you.)
  4. Explain your suspicion or complaint to the police clerk (Do not play down your feelings)
  5. Note details, i.e. – license plate numbers, personal descriptions. (Colors, styles, hair, glasses, left or right handed, etc.)
  6. Report suspicious activity or crime. (If you don’t tell us it is broken, we can’t fix it)            
Home Security 
A) Make use of door and window locks. (Deadbolts, window pins, Sliding glass door bars & upgrade if needed)
B)   Do not open doors to strangers.(Identify the person verbally, install peepholes or look out a window before opening the door.)

C)   Use external lighting for better visibility (Lighting is the cheapest and the most effective way of detouring the criminal – i.e. motion sensor lamps, flood lamps, etc. – Leave your front and back porch lights on after dark.)
D)   Have a home escape route planned. (In case of an emergency, know how to get out)

E)   Know your neighbors & neighborhood. (Cars, kids, delivery persons, businesses –know what is normal for you neighborhood.)

F)   Be suspicious / alert and report to the police. (Being home sometimes gives you a false sense of security)

G)   Keep bushes and trees trimmed away from doors and windows.   Untrimmed vegatation provide concealment for criminals.

H)   The Colorado Springs Police Department’s Crime Prevention Unit offers free home security / busineses inspections upon request.

Personal Theft Prevention 
A)   Know the area in which you are walking or shopping.
  1. Face the traffic flow when walking so you can see what is coming at you. (Cars, persons, bicycles, skateboards, etc.)
  2. Walk in populated and well lighted areas.
  3. Be alert. Do not become so focused on shopping that you forget your surroundings.
  4. Do not carry to many items in your hands. (You cannot defend yourself – make several trips to your vehicle if nessary)
  5. Walk with others or ask the mall or hospital for a security escort.
B)   Purses & Wallets
  1. Rule #1 – All purses should be carried on the inside shoulder to a wall or another person. (Purses on the outside shoulder are easy to remove.)
  2. Keep purses snapped or zipped. (Thieves will take the wallet out of your purse if it is open.)
  3. Keep a firm grip on the strap and keep it close to your body.
  4. In the grocery store, tie the strap to the cart handle or use the baby seat strap as an anchor.
  5. Keep your purse on the passenger side floor board up agianst the seat. (Out of sight / out of mind – hide the cheese from the rat.) Put it on the floor board behind you.
  6. Never fight with a suspect over your purse. The purse is not worth becoming injuried over, it can be replaced.
  7. Never carry a large amount of cash.
  8. Get a description of the thief and or car.
  9. Guys, carry your wallet in the front pocket when in large crowds. (It is difficult to remove.)
  10. Fanny Packs should be carried in the front.
Vehicle and Parking Safety 
A)   Keep your vehicle in good mechanical condition. (Avoid breakdowns.)

B) Use common sense, lock your doors and roll windows up when driving through unsafe areas.

C) Never give rides to strangers.

D) Report motorist assists never stop.

E) Keep valuable items covered or locked in the trunk.           

F) Do not get in the habit of traveling the same way to work everyday. (You become predictable)

G) If you are involved in a rear end accident, look before getting out of the vehicle. Is it just an accident or a “Car Jacking” attempt?

H)  If you think you are being followed….
      1.    Use your rear view mirror and side mirrors to identify the vehicle.
      2.    Be alert. Notice if cars are traveling your direction daily.
      3.    Change streets or direction. (See if the vehicle follows you)
      4.    Obtain a license plate number and a description, report it via cellular phone if you have one.
      5.    Drive to a well lighted populated store or area to report it. (Bad guys do not like light or witnesses)
      6.    Drive to a fire station or police station for help.

 I)      Park your vehicle near exits, entrances and lighted areas.
      1.    Lock your vehicle when parked. (Make sure you have the keys
      2.    Look at the position of the driver’s seat as you walk away.  
(If it has been moved upon your return, maybe someone has been in your car)        
      3.    Use the vehicle alarm if you have one.
      4.    The remote auto locks are a good safety feature.
      5.    Do not hide extra vehicle keys on the outside of your vehicle. (Thieves look for them)
      6.    Look 3 cars in all 4 directions when returning to your vehicle for suspicious persons or activity.
      7.    Look in the car before entering it. (Like in the back seat)
      8.    Look under the vehicle as you approach it.
      9.    Do Not leave maps; tourist aids in plain view. (It shows you are not a local)

Hotels and Vacations 
A)   Make all reservations and travel arrangements in advance and private.

B)   Know the general area of the hotel and surrounding neighborhood.

C)   Notify someone of your travel schedule and appointments. (So you can be reached)

D)   Take time to learn the interior of the hotel. (Exits, security desk, restaurant, bar – do not be lost)

E)   Use hotel safes.

F)   Use all locks provided within the room.

G)   Keep track of your room key. (If it becomes lost, have the room re-keyed and have security check your room before entering)

H)   Inventory your belongings so you will know if something is missing.

I)     Leave the TV on. (Make the room sound occupied)
J)    Do not discuss business or personal items with strangers.

Elevators and Stairs 
A)   Look inside before getting in.  If someone in the elevator looks suspicious do not get in. Make an excuse.

B)   Stand near the controls. (This gives you control of the floors and alarm.)

C) Do not get in a hurry; think before you make an elevator or stair choice.
Self Defense 
A)   If you are interested in self defense training, use creditable instructors. (Check with the police or the Better Business Bureau.)
B)   Pepper spray works, most of the time. It can be bought at most Department stores. Use it as a last resort and with common sense.
C)   If you think you are going to be come the victim of a violent crime:
Yell, Scream -- Fire, Fight, Rape, Help. (Criminals do not like to be noticed.)
Personal Abduction 
A)   NEVER go with a suspect for any reason. You have more of a chance of survival where the suspect is, than being removed to a remote area or road.
1.    Act weird – Throw up on yourself.  Wet your pants.   Faint.   Fake an illness, anything that would make this suspect not want you.  Fight, yell or run, but do not go.
For further informaton or training, please contact your divisional Crime Prevention Officer.