The local sheriff’s office teaches how to avoid becoming a crime victim
COLUMBUS, Ga. (WRBL) – While no one can guarantee their safety, there are ways to reduce the chances of being targeted. The “Refuse to be a Victim” program, offered by the Muscogee County Sheriff’s Office on Wednesday, May 23 from 5 to 9 p.m. for people ages 12 and older, aims to help raise awareness Community members on steps they can take to stay safe.
“Basically, it’s about teaching our citizens to be aware of their surroundings, be a hardened target and recognize criminal activity,” said Major Curtis Lockette of the Muscogee County Sheriff’s Office.
The seminar used materials from the National Rifle Association’s (NRA) Refuse to be a Victim program, although Lockette clarified that it had nothing to do with firearms training.
Lockette said this is the first time the sheriff’s office has offered the course since before the pandemic. However, now the plan is to offer it at least once a quarter.
Lockette said the training will cover a range of topics from physical security to home security, personal protective equipment and more. He provided examples of how to make sure you’re in a well-lit place at night when you’re home alone, and how to teach children who are home alone to say things like, “My dad is under the shower, you’ll have to come back later” when they hear a knock on the door to indicate the presence of an adult.
He also said the sheriff’s office uses Gavin de Becker’s 1997 book The Gift of Fear to teach about survival signals and trusting your gut.
The book was shown on a talk show back in the ’90s, Lockette recalled. He added that the author told the story of a woman who was raped after, after initial fear, she allowed a man to help her put groceries around her home. Lockette said that in the story, the woman narrowly escaped after the man went into the kitchen to retrieve what she assumed was a knife in order to kill her.
“We think it’s important for people to really understand what’s going on around them and not think they’re helpless,” Lockette said. He added that sometimes you can avoid becoming a victim of a crime if you pay a little more attention to those around you.
Lockette doubled down and said, “You don’t have to be a victim, and that’s why the course is called ‘Refuse to be a Victim.'”
Although the RVSP period is closed for this week’s seminar, Lockette said individuals interested in hosting the seminar at their place of work or school can contact him to schedule a class.