Police encouraging parents to talk to children about strangers, unsafe situations

Police encouraging parents to talk to children about strangers, unsafe situations
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Before students head off to school, police recommend parents talk to their children about what to do if they’re put in an unsafe situation.

The Richland Police Department suggests parents should walk their kids to school for the first couple days. During that time, a safe location should be established if a child is put into an unsafe scenario, such as a car following them.

“Establish somebody maybe on the route that they can you know, turn to for some help,” said Cerise Peck, Crime Prevention Specialist. “So, if there’s a business along the way that they can pop in if they feel uncomfortable or have that conversation where there’s a safe location in between where they can make contact with a trusted adult.”

Peck said this can also be used for other situations such as if a child is being bullied or is injured. If there are no businesses nearby, she said a trusted neighbor can also be an alternative.

She adds that if a child is being followed by a car, they should first get to a safe place. After that, Peck suggests seeing if your child is able to remember a license plate or type of car following them.

Peck said it may not be a good idea to use a “code word.” This can cause interaction between your child and a potential stranger, which she said should be avoided.