Officer gives safety tips during women’s luncheon

Published 11:00 pm Wednesday, May 9, 2012

Locks, alarm systems and lighting don’t do homeowners any good if they aren’t put to use.

“A lock is not going to lock itself. An alarm isn’t going to set itself,” said Troy Police Sgt. Benny Scarbrough.

Scarbrough was the speaker Wednesday at the May Female Factor women’s luncheon sponsored by Troy Regional Medical Center.

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Scarbrough was invited to share safety tips with ladies to help them protect themselves and their families from being easy prey for criminals.

“If an individual has a will to get into your home, they can do that,” Scarbrough explained. “But you can make yourself less of a target.”

Some deterrents are exterior lighting or motion sensor lighting outside homes, deadbolt locks and an alarm system. Keeping shrubbery cut to a size that no one can hide behind it and homeowners can clearly see out windows is also key in keeping criminals away.

With an influx of people purchasing guns for protection, Scarbrough brought up the need for practicing with weapons and even taking classes dealing with laws and firearm safety. Both the Troy Police Department and the Pike County Sheriff’s Office host gun safety courses for the public.

“You need to know how to operate a gun efficiently, not just own it,” Scarbrough said.

Another tip for people and their families is to designate a “safe room” inside a home where someone can retreat if there is trouble. Scarbrough said the room should have a phone, or other source of communication, and a lock on the door from the inside.

Scarbrough said the most important thing to keep in mind that will help a person be pro-active is to always remember that a crime could happen to them.

“As soon as you let your guard down, as soon as you think, ‘It’s not going to happen to me,’ you just got beat,” Scarbrough said. “Theft, burglary, robbery. We can all become victims. We need to be vigilant.”

Female Factor meets once a month at The Studio in downtown Troy. The luncheon is open to the public.