Tuesday, February 22, 2011

Spring Break Safety

Written by : Captain Eric Chin : Purdue Police Department : February 22, 2011

March, what took you so long to get here? I’ve always liked snow and my seasons, but this year, I’m comfortable to say that I’m done with winter and all that it brings. But along with spring comes planting, mowing, watering, allergies…all right, let me stop before I talk myself back into wishing for winter again. Let me just focus here for a second, Spring Break it’s just around the corner and we all can’t wait. Spring Break doesn’t always mean travels afar but it’ll just be a nice time whether it’s a stay-cation or a trip to somewhere warm. The key is staying safe and being careful.

For those traveling for Spring Break, you’ll have to practice the same basic safety principles you always have, but adjusted slightly.

  • Safety in numbers, I can‘t stress this enough. This is especially true when vacationing. Travel as a pack and project the strength of a pack, rather than a lone tourist. Picture yourself as a bad guy, how would you choose your victim? What’s easier, messing with a pack or just a lone victim out all alone? Let’s look at removing victimization, let’s look at just being lost. I don’t know about you, but I’d rather be lost as a group than on your own.
  • Be aware of your surroundings. Just because you’re on vacation or being somewhere fun doesn’t mean you hang up your street smarts. If you wouldn’t cut through a dark alley back home, don’t do it when traveling. Another, recognize landmarks and where you are. If you need to summons help, whether it’s the police or an ambulance, you’ll need to know generally where you are. If you’re driving to your vacation spot, pay attention to those mile markers along the roadway, they can come in handy if you experience a break down.
  • Trust your instincts, if it’s too good to be true, it probably is. You’re an experienced adult, you can read people pretty well, use that to your advantage.
  • Alcohol and/or drug use and experimentation. Let’s start with alcohol. Be a responsible drinker and drink safely. Stay away from driving. Be cautious of your drinks and guard them from someone lacing it with an additive. If you choose to allow someone to purchase you a drink, walk with them to the bar so you can keep an eye on the drink. Watch your consumption as you may draw the attention of the police or worse, someone who sees you as a victim. I can’t stress enough about drinking responsibly and that just isn’t for spring break.
  • Drug use, stay away from drugs. You’re taking a strangers word of what it is and you don’t have a clue what’s in it. One thing you need to weigh is that penalties are different wherever you go. With that said, law enforcement outside the United States may not always be the fair system you’re used to.
  • Reporting incidents, if you are the victim of a crime, please report it to the police. Report it as soon as you can and with the police department of where you are. If you were to wait until you returned home, there will be little that we can do. After every spring break, we always receive phone calls from victims wishing to report crimes. But unfortunately, due to jurisdictional and geographical issues, there is little we can do.

Our mission is to keep you safe during your break and to give you the above reminders. Have a good time you deserve it, just be careful and be smart.

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