Retired Schaumburg police officer John Good Offers Timely Safety Advice

Cop Talk: Safety Advice from a Suburban Beat Cop

Always be aware of your Surroundings.

Whether you are at a sports or entertainment venue, dining out, or at a movie theater, always survey your surroundings and have a game plan in the event the situation becomes unsettling. Feel more confident when you are out by reviewing some safety tips from retired North Shore police officer John Good.

1. Identify the emergency exits.

Yes, in most cases the exits are illuminated with a red sign, but sometimes not. Before taking your seat, identify the exits and have a plan to get to them quickly. Make sure others in your party are also aware should you become separated and identify an area where everyone should meet. Wear bright colors so members of the party can easily be identified.

2. Act quickly if the mood of the crowd seems threatening

It only takes seconds for a well-behaved crowd to grow dangerous if an often unforeseen catalyst changes the group dynamics. Don't stick around to see what happens. Leave early or late to avoid the rush when the event is over. When you notice a change, leave immediately and share your concerns with security.

3. Do not trade safety for style.

It's natural to want to look your best but pay attention to your outfit. For ladies, high heels look great, but in an emergency, they will impede flight. Wear lower, closed-toe shoes. Avoid loose clothing or accessories that could become tangled or pulled.

4. Understand crowd control!

Walk around crowds rather than pushing through them. If you're caught in a moving crowd, walk sideways or diagonally across it to work your way out.

5. Make your cell phone part of your security measures.

State Farm Insurance shared this tip. "If you are traveling with children, before leaving the house, take a photo of your child with a camera or phone. If you become separated, you will have an up-to-date photo of your child and what he or she is wearing to give to officials. Place your phone number in your child's pocket in case you're separated.

Keep your phone charged and on. Program it to vibrate as well as ring. Pick a place to rendezvous with your group if you become separated."

John Good, is a Schaumburg resident and a retired 41-year veteran of a suburban Chicago police department, and the author of "Blood on the Badge."

Article Comments
Guidelines: Keep it civil and on topic; no profanity, vulgarity, slurs or personal attacks. People who harass others or joke about tragedies will be blocked. If a comment violates these standards or our terms of service, click the "flag" link in the lower-right corner of the comment box. To find our more, read our FAQ.