One of the problems with becoming more skilled with awareness and crime prevention is the fact that we often don’t have the opportunity to gain experience in a wide variety of situations. Â We can make sure we are aware on our way to and from work, to and from our car, to and from wherever, but at some point and time we need to move into unfamiliar situations. Â The same goes for crime prevention skills. Â We can max out our skills only so far in our common circumstances in life. At some point we have to venture out and look at things from a new angle to gain further understanding. Â I spent December 30, 2011 in a police car, in the front seat, learning about crime prevention and awareness.
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Step Outside Your Comfort Zone
I don’t know about you, but most folks lead a nice, neat, little life. Â At times, we need to step outside of normal. Â But, when we decide to take a walk on the wild side, we want to do so without putting ourselves in danger. Â What better way to put ourselves in new and unique circumstances than under the supervision of a professional.
- Police respond to the calls that are dispatched to them.
- Opportunity to step into situations you normally wouldn’t be in.
- Opportunity to be in places where you normally wouldn’t be.
Watch and Learn
We can read articles until we are blue in the face and type in forums until our fingers are numb, but seeing it done by someone who knows what they are doing can help us to understand how to perform tasks that need to be performed.
- Understand if you are not an LEO not everything you see applies to armed citizens, be ready to evaluate for yourself.
- You may see things done properly, or not, be ready to evaluate for yourself.
- Watch for common links between calls
A Chance to Observe
You will most likely be an observer,Â meaningÂ that you will not be interacting but simply watching.
- An extra set of eyes
- Pay attention to strategic positioning
- Also focus on verbal skills
The average officer responds to hundreds if not thousands of call per year. Â The sheer volume of calls helps them to be able to find the common threads between situations and could qualify them as experts.
- When appropriate ask questions about common themes
- In addition, focus on specific situations
- Questions like how could this situation have been avoided? or What should be done to keep the situation from happening again? can give you insight
Get Set Up with a Ride
Call your local or county agency and ask about their policies realated to ride -alongs.
- Many agencies are stopping rides due to liability
- Some agencies have instituted citizen policeÂ academies
- Ask to ride with several officers
- If you have connections in the dept, use them
Do’s and Don’ts
- Do follow the rules
- Don’t think that you are now deputized
- Do watch and learn
- Don’t get involved
- Do be prepared to take care of yourself if things go bad
- Don’t make yourself at home in the car
- Don’t talk to much
- Don’t try and impress
- Do have a good time