Tribune-Courier features editor
Refuse to be a Victim is a program which advocates the single most important step you can make toward ensuring your personal safety is to have an overall strategy in place before you need it.
During a seminar held at the Benton branch of the Marshall County Public Library last week, attendees learned specific strategies to protect themselves, their families and their personal property. June is National Safety Month and the library is conducting a series of programs focused on the topic.
The course included instruction on home security, personal security, automobile security, workplace security and technological security. The goal is to educate, inform and foster safety.
“Law enforcement can’t be everywhere,” said Charlotte Keogh, program presenter. That’s why she believes in the importance of the personal safety awareness. Keogh has 27 years experience in the military and ten as a law enforcement officer. She is currently a concealed weapons course instructor.
Keogh said one of the most important messages of the program is mental alertness to your surroundings in the prevention of crimes. Both at home and in unfamiliar surroundings it is important to have a plan in place to prevent victimization.
While Benton does not experience the same level of crime as larger cities, there are a number of incidents that do occur, such as breaking and entering, that citizens can be more alert to in order to prevent.
Keogh stressed some key safety issues to enhance protection of home and property. Simple practices such as locking the doors to your home and automobile and checking to see who is knocking when someone is at the door if you are at home seem like common sense, but according to Keogh many people don’t do either.
“The problem is when people don’t lock their doors, criminals can only be charged with entering,” Keogh said. The punishment for that is much less severe than when a break-in is involved.
Keogh also presented a number of electronic devices such as window and door alarms that can heighten alertness to crime. In addition, she discussed personal protection devices.
For more information on Refuse to be a victim, visit refuse.nra.org, or contact Ginger Russell at