Monday, April 18, 2016

CCSO Reviews Community Safety Plan, Offers Stranger Awareness Safety Tips

The public safety professionals of Collier County, along with the many residents, businesses and organizations of our community, have children’s safety as our top priority.

We have received reports of several suspicious incidents these past few weeks involving people approaching youth and while most have not involved any outward criminal action, we want to review our updated community safety plan to keep our kids safe and to remind kids and families of stranger safety tips.

If anyone has any information on the incidents reported or sees any suspicious activity in our community, please let us know by calling 239-252-9300, or to remain anonymous and be eligible for a reward contact Crime Stoppers at 1-800-780-8477.

Our updated community safety plan includes proactive operations, thorough investigations and:

-        - Watch While You Work:  We have partnerships with businesses and services that have a large fleet presence on our roads.  We encourage employees of these businesses to let us know if they see something suspicious or potentially dangerous in neighborhoods or on our roadways.  This includes people or vehicles approaching children in a way that does not look appropriate.

-       - Safety in our Schools:  Our CCSO Youth Relations deputies partner with our school officials to deliver safety messages through classroom discussion, morning announcements, D.A.R.E. presentations, school bus driver briefings and many other interactions. Also, our Youth Relations deputies are patrolling neighborhoods before and after school.

-        - Community Awareness and Engagement:  Through our social media platforms on Facebook, Twitter, You Tube channel, Nextdoor and our professional partnerships with our local media, we keep our community informed on important safety issues.

-      -  Local Public Safety Collaborations:  Our colleagues in public safety include our community’s firefighters, emergency medical service providers and the law enforcement professionals of our cities and state agencies.  We keep them updated and share important information to keep our community safe.

Stranger Safety Tips to review with children:
- Do not go anywhere with someone you don’t know.  This especially includes getting into or close to vehicles with someone you don’t know.

-Try to keep your distance from strangers that are trying to talk with you or that approach you to ask questions or directions.  You don’t have to answer their questions or give them directions.  Adults that say they need help should be asking another adult for help- not a kid.

-Use the buddy system and avoid walking anywhere alone.

-Trust your feelings and instincts, if you feel you are being followed or something isn’t right, seek help immediately.

        -When you are seeking help or are approached by a stranger, go to a trusted adult like your         parent, a deputy, a teacher, a fireman or a friend’s parent that you know.