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City of Seattle
Ed Murray, Mayor
NEWS ADVISORY
SUBJECT: Back to School Safety Tips
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE:
9/4/2009  1:00:00 PM
FOR MORE INFORMATION CONTACT:
Police Media Relations  (206) 684-5520


Back to School Safety Tips

General Safety Tips

  • Follow your intuition. Pay close attention to the uncomfortable feelings that often warn us of potential danger. “Trust your gut.” If you feel that a situation is not right, move out of the situation. Trusting your own instincts about a situation that feels "wrong" can be the best personal safety tool you have. Don’t be afraid to cross the street, return to a business or ask for help based on that “funny feeling.” You may be right.
  • Be aware of your surroundings. In social situations, be alert to places and situations that make you vulnerable or unsafe. Know who is nearby or who may be following you.
  • Walk confidently and alertly. Avoid walking alone and using shortcuts.
  • Walk with others and stay on paths that are well lit where you can easily see and be seen.
  • Carry your valuables safely and securely. Don’t display items (e.g., I-pods, cash, phones), when walking to and from your destination.

Being Safe on the Bus or Light Rail

  • Maintain situational awareness on the bus, train and at transit stops.
  • While waiting for public transportation, keep your back close to a wall (or pole) so that you cannot be surprised from behind.
  • Don’t use or flash valuables on the bus or train.
  • If there is a problem on the bus or train, notify the driver and/or call 911.
  • If someone is bothering you on the bus or train, notify the driver.
  • If few people are on the bus or train, sit near the driver.
  • Use the transit schedules to minimize the length of time waiting for the bus or train.
  • Keep your purse, shopping bag, backpack, packages, etc., in your lap, on your arm, or between your feet -- not by themselves on an empty seat.
  • Don’t let yourself doze off on the bus or train; it can make you an easy target.
  • If you feel uneasy about getting off at your usual stop, stay on until the next stop.
  • Guard transit passes like cash or other valuables (the school is not entitled to give you a new one if yours is lost or stolen).

Being Safe on the Street

  • Know your routes. Notice lighting, alleys, abandoned buildings, and street people.
  • If you are being followed or you see a person or group further down the street that makes you feel uncomfortable, cross the street, walk in another direction, or ask other people walking if you may walk a short distance with them.
  • Pick out places that you consider safer, places where you can either make a stand or reassure yourself that you are not being followed (i.e., lit porches, bus stops, stores, etc.).
  • Walk near the curb and away from buildings, trees, and shrubbery, which can hide potential threats.
  • When walking to your home or apartment, carry your house keys in your hand. Don’t stand in a doorway and fumble in your purse or pocket for your keys. Have them ready to use.
  • Always dress so that your movements are not restricted.

If You Are Confronted

  • It may seem like a good idea to tell a robber that you have no money, but this technique may backfire. Carry a little money in an accessible place separate from the rest of your cash. It may be safer to give up a dollar or two while keeping the rest of your money hidden safely in your shoe or down inside your socks.
  • If someone demands your property and displays a weapon or implies that they have a weapon, losing some of your property probably isn’t worth getting injured or killed over.
  • If someone tries to grab you, make a scene. Scream, punch, kick, and fight until you break free. Do whatever you can to get away and attract attention. Call 911 as soon as possible.

Talk About Guns

  • If you see someone carrying a gun on school campus – report it immediately.
  • If you find a gun – do not handle it. You and the other students should stay away from it and report it immediately to school security, a teacher or school staff.
  • If you see a person with a gun – quickly and quietly walk the other way. Report it immediately. Call 9-1-1 and/or text CrimeStoppers anonymously.

Make Your School Safer - What Students Can Do

  • First, know that your safety should be your number one priority.
  • Learn and practice ways of settling conflicts, disagreements and arguments in non-threatening, non-violent ways.
  • Be respectful of others. Treat others as you would want to be treated.
  • Report all crimes and suspicious activities to school staff and police.

REPORTING CRIME POLICE - FIRE - MEDICAL EMERGENCIES: 9-1-1

Call 9-1-1 . . .

  • When you have a police, fire or medical emergency.
  • To report a crime.
  • When there is a situation that poses an actual or potential danger to life or property.
  • When there is suspicious activity.

In Seattle Public Schools

  • Seattle Public Schools Safe Schools Anonymous Hotline: 206-252-0510
  • Seattle Public Schools Security Office: 206-252-0707

CrimeStoppers: Text-A-Tip or Call TIPLINE (206-343-2020)

  • If you know of a crime, call or text the information 24/7.
  • Tipsters remain completely anonymous.
  • Here is how to text the information you have about a crime:
    • Send text to “C-R-I-M-E-S” or “2-7-4-6-3-7”
    • Begin your message by typing “T-I-P-4-8-6”
    • Type your message about the crime.
    • Press “SEND” when completed.
    • Within 15 seconds, you will receive a pin number confirming receipt of the information.
    • Be assured that tipsters remain completely anonymous and continue to remain anonymous even when receiving a pin number on your cell phone that confirms receipt of the information.
    • If your tip leads to an arrest and filing of charges, you may qualify for a reward.
    • Further picture and audio instructions on how to use the Text-a-Tip hotline are available at www.crimestoppers-ps.com

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