In recent weeks, we have seen a number of young adults go missing in our area. With that said, we would like to remind you of a few safety tips for when you are walking, running, or riding a bike in the dark. While many of these safety tips may be a "no- brainer" for you, it may be what saves the life of someone else. Please take some time to read this blog and feel free to share with others. Having interviewed police officers for several years now, I have complied a list of reminders for you when it comes to being outdoors while out in the dark. Here are a few safety tips police officers and other law enforcement personnel seem to always stress!!!


1. Never Walk Alone - If you are walking with someone police say that it is a deterrent for any possible approach. Always try to walk with or in a crowd if possible. The more people you are with the safer it will be for you to reach your destination.

2. Walk In Well Lit Areas - If you do have to walk alone to reach a destination, NEVER walk or ride your bike in a dark area. Not only is darkness a potential perpetrators best friend, it can be your worst enemy. By walking in well lit places this allows for others to monitor your whereabouts.

3. Wear Bright Clothing - If you that you will be walking in the dark after work or school, prepare ahead!!! You know you schedule better than anyone else, prepare for it. Wearing bright colored clothes will draw attention towards in the dark and this may just save your life in more than one way.

4. Always Have A Cell Phone Nearby - Police say that one of the biggest misconceptions most of us have is to be on a cell phone while we walk alone. Being on a cell phone while walking is a distraction. It distracts you from your surroundings and actually makes you more prone to being a victim. Have a cell phone is visible sight, but NEVER walk alone and talk on your cell phone at the same time.

5. Carry A Flashlight - Again, if you know that you will be walking in the dark pack a flashlight with you. Remember, light is your best friend when walking alone and in the dark.

6. Let People Know Your Schedule and Route - If you have a set route and/or routine, let a family member or friend know your daily schedule/route. In the event something happens to you, if a family member or friend knows your routine the proper officials will have a better chance of tracing you down. You always want someone to know where you are.

7. Follow Your Instincts- It is NEVER wrong to be too safe. If you feel that something isn't right, take precautionary measures. Get to the nearest home or person and let them know of your situation. There is NOTHING wrong with being too safe. Always listen to your instincts when you are not in your own comfort zone.

8. Use Busy Roadways or Sidewalks - Law Enforcement officials always stress that if you are walking, running, or bicycling while its dark, never stray off of major thoroughfares or roadways. The more traffic around you the safer it will be. Potential criminals stray away from engaging in criminal activity when there are more people in an area. The chances of someone seeing something is in your favor, and not in the criminal's. If there is a lot of traffic where you are, the safer it may be.

9. Carry A Whistle or Mase - The whistle can be used to draw attention towards you in the event of someone approaching you. As for mase, it can be used in your defense as you plan an escape. Both of these items should be easy to get to in the event of you needing them.

10. Plan Ahead - Look, if you don't have to walk, run, or cycle while its dark DON'T DO IT!! Find time to exercise during the day. Avoid putting yourself into dangerous situations. Think ahead and plan ahead...

Again, we hope that these safety tips help. And remember, there is nothing wrong with reviewing these safety tips with friends and family members. Education is your best asset when it comes to being safe and protecting yourself from a dangerous encounter.