Sheep, Shepherd, Sheepdog, or Wolf

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


  1. Great article!! I live In a nice neighborhood one of the safest in my area. I am sure I have a false sense of security and should be a better sheepdog!!


  2. I live on a very large old boat that atracts alot of attention. I am a female, and get quite upset when men approach the boat, and completely freaked out when evey once and a while, one will board the boat. This was a huge problem when I was at a marina, but now I am in private neighborhood, and still have this problem, although less frequently. This never happened when I had a home on land. (Just 2 days ago, i chased two guys off my dock! ) Do you have any sugestions on how I can make the boat look more intimidating, and less aproachable? The sight of cameras is aparently not enough.

    Liked by 1 person

  3. Lisa, my initial thought is your liveboat is private property like a car, a residence, or any other structure. My suggestion is a “Private Property” or similar “No Trespassing” on a chain, across the entrance. Something with a clasp to make your access easiest would be best. Remind people to use their manners.

    I might also suggest watching the video in my blog post

    In the video, there are instructions for making a cardboard silhouette which you can place in a window with some backlighting to make it appear as though you have an additional person on the boat. I would suggest having one of your broader-shouldered trustworthy friends be the model for this. If you do choose to use the silhouette option, moving it around to different places is helpful.

    Hopefully this helps! cb

    Liked by 1 person

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