May - Personal Safety

Personal safety really is a conscious choice that everyone must make for themselves. The biggest factor working against you when it comes to personal safety is "denial". Most people feel that they will never become a victim of a crime or disaster, and therefore they never plan for such an event. There are too many examples of personal safety tip to discuss in detail here, but a few general strategies can go a long way in keeping you and your family safer. There are no absolute strategies that work every single time, so weigh your options carefully and make decisions which benefit your unique circumstances.

Be Informed
The 1st step in establishing a personal safety model is knowing what risks you might be exposed to. If you can prioritize potential risks or vulnerabilities then you can manage them more effectively.
Decision Ball: Identify, Assess, Plan, Implement, and Communicate
Some risks are naturally occurring. If you live in an area prone to flooding for example, you should be able to quickly take steps to protect your property, and plan for an evacuation if necessary. Know how to manage your life's routines like family and work during a hardship. Know how to communicate with others during an emergency and establish a meeting point if phone lines are disrupted. Make sure personal documents and other valuables are safeguarded.

Other risks are man-made. Many of these risks involve the commission or attempted commission of a crime. Please review the Lafayette Police Department's other Crime Prevention Bulletin's for more details. We provide strategies for things like burglary prevention, identity theft protection, and workplace violence.

Think of personal safety along the same lines as risk management. It is a continuous process. Personal safety issues or risks change over time. Identify new or emerging risks or safety issues, assess the impact that they may have on you and your family, and then make plans to reduce your vulnerability. Then take the necessary step to protect yourself.

Start With the Simple Things
At Home
  • Make personal safety a family matter. Talk to kids about things like "stranger danger", safe internet practices, how to use 911, and neighborhood/school safety strategies.
  • Review our Crime Prevention Bulletins on burglary prevention and take our home security and safety checklist for ideas.
  • Learn about how landscaping and lighting can be used to reduce crime. See our CPTED bulletin.
  • Document personal property by photographing items and recording serial numbers.
At Work
  • Advocate for workplace violence policies or harassment policies at work if they do not exist.
  • Know if there is a "safe room" designated at work and identify which offices can lock.
  • Know where emergency exits are located and how alarms work.
  • Notify supervisors or Human Resources of unsafe or dangerous working conditions.
  • Park in a well lit area where your vehicle can be seen by others. Keep your vehicle locked.
  • Do not keep items like cell phones, purses, or book bags in unattended vehicles where these items are visible to others who may be inclined to steal them.
  • When walking to a locked car, have your keys ready, pay attention to your surrounding, and show confidence and poise. Do not give the appearance of being an easy victim.
Reduce Risk Factors
  • Do not be unnecessarily confrontational with strangers.
  • Avoid driving behavior that may provoke road-rage.
  • Show respect to help ease tensions, and be an example for children who might be present.
  • Report suspicious activity or crime. Everyone has a part to play in keeping our community safe. Stand up for what is right and do the right thing.
  • Do not support or encourage illegal behavior. Ongoing criminal activity or dishonest behavior will affect many people in the community.
As a reminder, the concepts of personal safety are much too broad and complex to cover them all in 1 bulletin. Decide which actions will best keep you and your family safe based on your specific needs assessment. Then, be proactive when it comes to safety matters for you and your family.

Contact Us
If you would like addition or more detailed information on specific Crime Prevention strategies, please contact the Lafayette Police Department at 765-807-1200.