Many of us have been hearing about the violence taking place in the city, including downtown Columbus. Overall, downtown continues to be a safe place to live, work, study, and visit.
According to Mark Proud, president of Blueline Training Solutions and former police officer, there are steps you can take to increase your safety wherever you are, including in your own neighborhood.
- Scan your surroundings whether you are walking, driving your car, or riding a bike. And be aware of the direction you are traveling in the event you do need to call for help.
- Look for indicators for any potential threats and try to avoid them. This could be a mass gathering, an event, or blocked sidewalks and roads. Know what your options are in case you need to escape.
- Avoid talking on the phone or listening to music with earbuds or headsets.
- Be aware of crime trends in the neighborhoods you frequent. If you know that break-ins are up in the public garage where you park, be sure to remove visible items in your vehicle and put them in your trunk.
- Use available resources, including the SID ambassadors who provide safety escorts upon request.
- Contact the Capital Crossroads and Discovery Special Improvement District (SIDs) at 614-228-5718. Our downtown ambassadors are available to check on suspicious activity if you’re not sure it warrants a call to the police. And add the police nonemergency number 614-645-4545 in addition to 911 to your cell phone.
- Have a rehearsed response ready when approached by panhandlers. For example, “Thanks, but not today”. You can also offer to call the SID hotline to request assistance.
The bottom line is that you can control your safety by taking precautions and planning ahead.