Is it fair to say “You Are Only As Safe As You Make Yourself?” Growing up you were continuously warned, “don’t touch that,” “look both ways before crossing the street,” “don’t go out in the dark!” Most of those warnings were about the obvious threats in life, fire, being hit by a car and so on. Bad and risky things can be hiding in the dark or around that upcoming corner.
As children we listened, most of the time. But often we took chances if only to learn for ourselves. Hopefully, we had a mom or dad, or better, both, to watch our backs, light and check the road ahead, and warn of unseen dangers. Often they knew these things from their own lessons learned in life.
Today with the many Church, Synagogue, Mosque, Entertainment venues, Schools…need I go on, fires, shootings, and bombings, we need to up our game in teaching and warning. The places we had thought to be “safe” places are the targets for the predators of today.
Who are those predators? Wow, a difficult one to narrow down, right? We get children taking up arms and shooting other children in schools. We get people going into religious houses of worship and killing scores of innocent people. We get terrorist packing themselves with bomb materials and killing others, and them self. There was the Las Vegas shooting taking aim from an expensive hotel room at people he did not, could not know or have an issue with, and killing randomly. And then there are people driving vehicles onto city sidewalks or pedestrian ways, killing anyone in their way. Again, this listing can go on and on, but you know the list.
Everyone seems to look towards the police, the government, the political leaders for answers. What you are probably beginning to realize is…wait for it! They will not be there when you need them! They do not have the answer to stop the madness! They will respond expertly after-the-fact with proclamations and condemnations, comments that only fog up the atmosphere with useless and perhaps disingenuous emotions.
I am a former Law Enforcement Officer and I later worked in the U.S. Intelligence Community. I regrettably must say to you it is true that for the most part, we will always be working behind the curve in protecting you. Also at making this country, and the world a safer place to live. Here is a disturbing truth for you.
- Police do not, and cannot arrest a person without a crime already in progress, or completed.
- Threats by people are limited in their availability for law enforcement to act on.
- Prior knowledge of a persons criminal…background, alone, does not give police authority to arrest or detain a person.
The comment that often is made to police is something to the effect, “what do I have to do, get killed for you to do something!” A harsh comment or question! But I can understand the question from my own experience. My mother once made that comment to me when she was bothered by the actions of someone and asked if I could do something about it. Looking at the matter, number one, I could not act on a complaint from my mother, simply because she was my mother. Second, there needed to be a crime, or suspicion of a crime for myself, or any law enforcement officer to act on. Last, she was bothered by something, but in fact, a crime had not occurred. She was just mad at an annoying person.
Now, enough of the excuses
We should, you should reasonably expect that law enforcement and your countries Military and Intelligence Agencies to act and prevent harmful acts against you, us! They should make your community, your country, and this world a safer place. But there are conditions that must be met for them to act.
So where does that leave you? Plain and simple,
You Are Your Own First, Second and Third Line of Defense!
And how does that work? Again, simple, I recommend, hint – the name of my website and blog…Your Situational Awareness…and then the 101 part, as in beginning with the simple basics and going forward.
We teach, lecture and recommend these kinds of points:
FOUR KEY POINTS:
- Remove all elements of distraction when you are in public. Put that cell phone and tablet down and look up at the world before you. Pay attention to your surroundings, the who, what and where.
- Concept: Never go into a place you do not know how to get out…as-in, escape!
- Pay attention to persons present, approaching, departing and generally speaking in your environment. Look for what is out of place or out of the normal.
- Be prepared and ready to respond to what you observe, hear and feel in your environment.
An example would be when you see numbers of persons running, read fleeing, what might be described in a panicky manner. Listen to comments being shouted by those persons. Determine the cause of their fear responses. Decide on your own actions that you will take. Those actions may not be the same as those persons fleeing. And then ACT. Act decisively for your own safety.
This is where the Run, Hide, Fight concept you may have heard of recently, comes in. Another example would be that you hear what you think might be the sound of gunfire. Determine the believed location of the sound, move to what is available to you for cover, or for concealment. Note that it is much better to find cover, over concealment. Cover protects you, concealment hides you. Or when it is available, a close and effective escape point.
There are many methods involved in being in Situational Awareness and being safe. I cannot list them all in this post. We teach this. Much of it is basic, simple and easy to grasp. Some of it might feel compromising or extreme. I live each day, in my U.S. city of residence, in a state of Situational Awareness at all times. It does not make me look or act oddly. At least no one is yet to have reported me as a suspicious or strange person. I particularly use the concepts learned in my career and working for the government in dangerous or compromising environments, doing…stuff!
You don’t have to be a cop, ex-cop or spy to be safer in this world.
You don’t have to come to me, though I suggest you do, to learn the methods to make yourself safe. I will even offer suggestions of other professionals in the field that can give you this important information. The point is for you to not sit back and wait to be a victim.
Be prepared, avoid danger and thrive.