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Best Practices for Personal Safety

From SFPD Southern Station Captain Charlie Orkes’s 5/6/2011 community newsletter:

To maximize your personal safety, take a minute to plan and prepare for safety before leaving
your home.

– Limit your valuables (identification and money) by carrying only what you need for the day.
If you must carry large sums of money or personal items, consider placing them close to the
front of your body and conceal them under clothing or in a fanny pack.

– Protect your laptop computers from theft by transporting them in a nondescript bag. Standard
cases designed specifically for laptops clearly portray the contents, making it an easier task for
the thief to spot in a crowd.

– Never leave your valuables unattended.

– When on the street, be ALERT and AWARE at all times. Keep good eye contact with the
people around you. Walk with confidence and purpose. Most victims will be targeted because
they appear not to be paying attention to their surroundings.

– A handbag or bookbag with a strap should not be worn across the body. It should be carried
under the arm and released if grabbed. This will prevent your body from being pulled to the
ground in an assault.

– Have your cell phone easily accessible to you in case you need to call
phone fully charged at all times.

– It is a good practice to let another person know your itinerary for the day and your expected
time of return.

– There is safety in numbers. Make every effort to walk with others when leaving a building or
location. Walk in well traveled, well lit streets. Do not take short-cuts through parking lots or
alley ways.

– Get to know the stores and public buildings that are along your walking routes. Build allies in
the community where you live and work you never know when you might need to call on them.

– Digital music players are a common target of thieves and robbers. Be wise about where you
choose to use it when in public. Wearing headphones and ear buds greatly reduces your ability
to hear and distracts you from potential danger.

– If taking public transportation, have your money or Fast Pass ready. Do not fumble with your
wallet; you might draw attention to a pickpocket.

– Never discuss personal information (money, account numbers, etc.) near strangers. There is a
good chance that someone might overhear your conversation and act on the information.

– ATM transactions should be made inside a store or at one that is well lit and visible. Shield
the keypad while you input your code. Have your card ready and do not count or display your
money. Put your money in pocket or purse immediately. Take your receipt with you.

– Trust your instincts. If you feel uncomfortable or threatened by another person (s), seek help
immediately. A whistle is a great device to have when you need to call attention to yourself.

– Protect your vehicle from theft. Always lock your doors and glove compartment. Never hide a
spare key in your vehicle.

– Never leave valuables (GPS system, laptop computer, school equipment, cell phone, digital
music player, coins, CD’s, clothing, jewelry, wallet, etc.) unattended in the car, or unattended in
a café or coffee shop.

– Whenever possible, park your vehicle in a well lit area with plenty of walking traffic.

– Activate your anti-theft device(s) prior to leaving your vehicle.


FROM CELL PHONE 415-553-8090



San Francisco SAFE, Inc. (Safety Awareness for Everyone) is a non-profit 501(c)(3) organization
that works in partnership with the San Francisco Police Department. We offer a variety of crime
prevention and public safety awareness services.

Contact SAFE for more information:

San Francisco SAFE, Inc.
850 Bryant Street, # 135

San Francisco, CA 94103
(415) 553-1984
Visit us at www.sfsafe.org.

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