Hi! Carole here. I am law enforcement officer with over 25 year experience and I give presentations to groups in my city about staying safe. Honestly, teaching this class has been the best thing I’ve done in my career. The class typically lasts 2 hours during which I demonstrate escape techniques to counter a bad guy (or girl’s) attempt to assault or grab someone. That is the fun part of the class. It is NOT, however, the truly important part. My hope at the end of the day is that things I say in class about avoiding bad situations is the true take-away for everyone.
With that in mind, I decided to start this blog. The message about being aware and being safe as you move about the planet is a passion for me. We live in a dangerous world. In my career as an officer, I have seen so many situations where little things made the difference between victims being targeted by offenders or being passed over for easier prey.
Full Disclosure: being aware of your surroundings and taking measures to ensure your safety and the safety of your family comes at the price of becoming more paranoid and less naïve to the bad people in the world. There is an analogy popular in law enforcement circles which equates the average citizen to sheep, law enforcement to sheepdogs, and the bad people to wolves. You can likely see where this is going. Sheep, to be clear, are not less-than and the analogy is not intended as a put-down to the average person. Let’s be honest, though. Many people go through their day focused on their own lives, and not thinking about what might happen to them or who might have bad intentions. When a bad thing happens, as long as it did not directly affect them, they put their heads back down and continue to “graze”. My hopes are that those people remain safe and do not ever become victimized by the dangers around us.
In keeping with this, the sheepdogs are those who are looking out for the sheep. They are aware of the dangers in this world and are always watching and listening for the wolves to attack. They are the protectors. Good, bad, or indifferent, we need sheepdogs. If you ever watch the news after a serious event such as an assault or shooting, there is always someone who talks to the reporters about how “this is such a good neighborhood and nothing like this has ever happened here.” No neighborhood is exempt from crime. In fact, in the nicest neighborhoods, I have seen sexual assaults, domestic violence, and other crimes happening behind closed doors. Crime is everywhere. Wolves are everywhere. Do you notice them?
You don’t have to be a sheepdog to be aware. I am confident if a sheep smelled a wolf, they would alert others, to include the sheepdog, before they run in hopes they will find safety. What is missing from the analogy is shepherds. They are not the hunters or protectors. They are watching the sheep and the sheepdogs. They are fully aware of the dangers life presents, and have their heads up, scanning for predators. My hope is to turn sheep into Shepherds, if you will.
Which one are you? Do you lock your doors, watch people around you, and carry yourself in a way that keeps you away from bad people? If you have your head up, carefully watching and aware in your day-to-day, congratulations! You have your head in the right place to stay safe. Enlightened people make poor targets.
Keep watching my blog for tips on safety at home, while traveling, and generally living your life. There is SO MUCH to talk about! I will share stories from my job and pass along tips for fighting smart against the wolves.
Eyes open! -carole