After 3 parking lot shootings in the Rockford area in the last two weeks, how to stay safe in public, doing 'everyday' things, has become a big concern.

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We shouldn't have to fear going to the mall, taking a walk, or walking out to our cars after work. Unfortunately, this is reality in many cities across the country. Violent crimes can happen anywhere, we all need to be alert and on the look out. We are heading into the Winter months which means the days are getting shorter. Here are some tips for keeping yourself safe.

  1. Stay with another person or a group when you are out.
  2. Always be aware of your surroundings. Don't look at your phone or dig through your purse. Be alert.
  3. Have your key out and ready when approaching your car.
  4. Carry mase or pepper spray and know how to use it.
  5. Park in well lit areas.
  6. I know this sounds simple, but don't talk to strangers.
  7. Look under, around, and in your car before getting in and lock your car doors immediately.
  8. When at a stop sign or stop light keep at least a car's distance between you and the car in front of you.
  9. Always have your cell phone handy.
  10. Run away screaming in someone pulls a gun on you. Do not get into a car with them.
  11. Hide your valuables. Don't show off your bling.
  12. Look confident while walking. Don't stare at the ground.

Always stay alert and be safe!