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Not a joke, but, before this current year, could you imagine walking into a bank wearing a mask? Rhetorical question! In this current state of the international and national Covid-19 crisis and shutdown, everyone is wearing masks. Who else typically will wear a mask, criminals, that’s who! Home burglars, package thieves, home invasion knuckleheads, purse snatchers, robbers, and more…even terrorists(?), haven’t seen a report yet, but it is possible!

I’m not going to post the related news photo, but instead you have the link above. I don’t need the copyrights issue. But I do have the guy below licensed to me…

This fellow could be walking down your street today, and it is ok! Being COVID safe, right!

The reports abound of package thieves and door knock suspects all across the cities of America. Car burglaries are up, as are several other street and home crimes. Another crime being reported as being on the increase, domestic violence…but that is a post for another day.

I had the question in my mind recently when walking into my neighborhood Brentwood area bank. Particularly as a retired cop, the thought of wearing a mask is alien to me, the thought of wearing a mask and going into a business, crazy! Being brown skin (not to intending to bring race into the conversation) and walking into anything, anyplace…I have no words to express that thought!

In the pre-COVID days, citizens of American didn’t even want their own police agencies, while doing tactical operations, wearing masks, as the European cops generally do. The complaints coming into that police agency would overwhelm the department and city leaders.

These points are not to question or criticize the current requirements (wear a mask!). They are likely the best non-oppressive method to “help” protect against the spread of the virus.

But wow, who would have thought.

What this all means for you is:

  1. Be alert…watching out for what is near or approaching you, your home, your car, your family.
  2. Be prepared to respond to the unexpected.
  3. Look at people and things…don’t be shy about being able to describe someone that approached you or was watching you…so that if you do get attacked you can give a better description than “he had a mask on!”
  4. Make your family members and co-workers aware of these points.
  5. Pause and observe…this goes hand and hand with the first several list items.
  6. Don’t move about in fear, but move with awareness and a confident outward persona.

There are more elements to this process of Awareness, but you get these simple and core ideas.

Criminals are leveraging this circumstance we are living in. They can hide in plain sight, which is the most problematic part of this all. Police might normally be able to give a second look at a person they see wearing a mask on while walking in your neighborhood, or into your local business. But today, not at all. So their work is made more difficult. And, as I have said before many times, and I even have a separate post on this point, “YOU ARE YOUR OWN “FIRST RESPONDER.” This is also the popular topic of several of my speaking seminars for groups and companies…

This is, to me, a somewhat obvious point; the police are handicapped and limited in their options. You are responsible for the first defense, and your second, and likely third defense and self requirement.

So, the answer to this dilemma is to wake up, get your head out of the cell phone, pay attention, make preparations and plans, and keep your head on a swivel, look at the world around you.

Taking safe precautions…being alert and observant

Do these things in your own way if you must, but do them, be safe, be alert, be prepared, be Aware! And of course, you can and should reach out to me for training and consultation! That is my favorite option! Smiles!