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From the Desk of Your Outreach Coordinator (MPDC)

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  • Smith, Yvonne (MPD)
    My sister from Atlanta, Georgia visited with me last weekend During the week, when we spoke on the phone, she told me, I could never live in D.C. When I
    Message 1 of 1 , Dec 20, 2004
      My sister from Atlanta, Georgia visited with me last weekend  During the week, when we spoke on the phone, she told me, "I could never live in D.C."  When I questioned her comment, she said, "you had this heightened sense of alert about everything!"  I really wasn't sure what she meant by that, so I asked her for examples, thinking the only thing she could say is that I told her to stay in the car while I pumped gas. 
      Her list surprised me.  She told me:
      1) You kept placing that huge club on your car each time we stopped, even at the gas pump.
      2) You made an effort to park your car under street lights and as close as possible to busy areas.  (Criminals prefer to work in areas that are not very busy.)
      3) Your security system has motion detectors and you leave your porch lights on during the day.  (Because I get in after dark.)
      4) At the mall, you took a different way back to the car.  (There was a person watching us carefully as walked away from the ATM machine.  I was headed in his direction, then changed my route to the car.)
      5) You made me get back into the car at the gas station.  (When we drove up for gas, I got out.  She and her two year-old were in the car, as well.  She also proceeded to get out, to throw something in the trash.  I told her to get back into the car.  Later, I told her about recent carjackings that took place at gas stations, with little kids in the back seat.)
      6) You refused to put your cell phone in your purse. (I kept it in my coat pocket in order to get to it faster.)
      7) You would not put the toy box out for the recycling truck.  (I did not want to advertise a Christmas purchase, so I waited to give it to the truck drivers.)
      After she began to list all of the precautions that I had taken for safety reasons, I realized how it must have seen to her.  I told her that I had no idea it made her afraid.  I told her that these are the same kinds of safety precautions she should take back home.  I also reminded her that in her field of human resources, she too, has developed an eye for good HR practices.  She has been trained to detect actions that could make her company liable for an employee's actions.  The same thing applies here.  
      I develop safety tips, based on what I see in police reports.  Those same details are shown on our local television news stations and reported on our local radio news stations.  I hope that all of us are listening and taking the necessary precautions to stay safe, particularly in the holiday season.  When we hear something on the news about how someone else was victimized, we should ask ourselves, "What could have been done differently to prevent that story."
      It is so important that we practice street smarts.  Discuss safety tips at your local community meetings.  It doesn't make us totally immune, but it does make us feel more confident in our abilities to stay safe.  For more safety tips, visit the Department's website at: http://mpdc.dc.gov/info/tips.shtm  Commander Greene has also created a list of Safety Tips for residents in the Fifth District.  To receive an electronic copy, send me an email.
      Be Smart, Stay Safe and Do your Part to Help "Take a Bite Out of Crime."
      Yvonne Smith
      Community Outreach Coordinator
      Metropolitan Police Department
      Commander's Office
      1805 Bladensburg Road, NE
      Washington, DC 20002
      727.4503 office
      727.8649 fax
      497.0814 MPD Cell
      576.8871 Voice Mail Box
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