May 3, 2012 - Officers with the Houston Police Department’s Community Services Unit recently provided a specialized personal safety and burglary prevention presentation to members of Houston’s visually impaired community.
While there are certain safety tips specific to visually impaired individuals, HPD Officers Anthony Valle and Stephanie Watson-Owens told attendees most safety precautions are universal.
“My number one piece of advice is to always be aware of your surroundings,” said Officer Valle. “If you’re walking in the parking lot, get off your cell phone and walk with confidence. Body language lets potential criminals know you’re not a victim,” he said.
In addition, he told participants with purses to always keep them with them and never to leave them in a shopping cart or on a car seat. Ideally, Officer Valle added, people shouldn’t carry a purse at all. Instead, he recommended carrying a small wallet in a front pants pocket or getting a wallet on a breakaway lanyard that can hang around the neck and be hidden under a shirt.
When someone comes to your door, Officer Valle recommended keeping the doors locked but acknowledging the individuals presence by telling them you weren’t interested in anything they had to say. “If you don’t answer, thieves may assume no one is home and try to break in,” he said.
If you are really uncertain, call 911 and report a suspicious person. Officers take those calls seriously and will respond, Officer Valle emphasized.
The presentation is just one of hundreds HPD’s Community Services and Community Outreach Units hold every year. For more information on having a presentation at your business or organization, please contact HPD’s Public Affairs Office at 713-308-3200.
For more crime prevention tips, go to www.houstonpolice.org and click on the Keep Houston Safe link.
Officer Valle Giving Safety Presentation
For additional information, please contact the HPD Public Affairs Division at 713-308-3200.