By Dottie Dewberry
The Trace Way Restaurant hosted the self-defense class sponsored by the National Crime Prevention Task Force on Monday, March 7, at 6:30 p.m.
To a near capacity crowd, men and women, young and old alike, were from Ackerman, Cumberland, Pheba, Eupora, Maben, Mathiston, and Louisville.
Justice Court Judge Jerry Jones stepped into the gap as Bill Cain, MCPTF representative, was hospitalized Monday and was unable to come.
After a welcome and prayer, Judge Jones explained the situation and then proceeded to discuss skills that women need to develop to protect themselves.
One particular skill was “to always be aware of your surroundings.” He stressed that when ladies are going to their car in large parking lots, they are urged to walk past the car and check out the area and to pay particular attention to vehicles parked next to theirs. If someone accosts you, push the panic button and the throw the keys as far as you can.
Judge Jones told the group that the first location (where you are) is the safest place that you will be if approached in a sinister manner. Do all that you can to stay in that location, even if it means driving (wrecking) your car into other cars or light poles, bail out and run!
If you and your children are affronted, throw your purse on the ground and then run. If by some chance you are thrown into the trunk, kick out the taillights and put out your hand and arm—the driver won’t be able to see you but passing vehicles will. This may save your life.
There were several habits that women need to break: do not just sit in the car after you get in, lock the door, and drive off!
• Lock your car with the inside button--not the key remote.
• Do not be embarrassed to ask security to escort you to your car at night.
• Always take a buddy with you on shopping trips.
• Run if predators are shooting at you.
• Do not be sympathetic to predators--quickly remove yourself from the area.
There were several other suggestions to be aware of:
• Take the elevators--never the stairs.
• Do not fall for the crying baby left on your door step/porch. Call 911.
• The same thing for the open water taps outside your home, call 911. These people do things to get you outside of your home--your place of security.
• A chair propped under the door knob is a better deterrent than safety chains in motels. Do not return motel door key cards as they have all of your info on this card. Take them home and destroy them.
• Beware of the latest device that can scan your debit/credit cards through your purse; Wal-Mart has a device (shield) to keep your cards in that cannot be scanned.
• Face outward when pumping gasoline with your back to the car.
Roger Miller from the Mathiston Police Department explained about the trunk opener located inside the newer cars; if you are in the trunk, it is located where the lock is and it glows. Wait until the car is stopped and then pop the trunk and run like mad.
The best advice: “Nothing takes the place of Snub-Nose Smith.” This led into the fact that it is legal to carry a pistol in a vehicle. If you travel frequently, then acquire a permit to carry a gun.
Judge Jones stressed frequently to be cautious! Use common sense! Be aware of the area.
The evening drew to a close with Rannie Gilliland and Cindy Smith demonstrated how Rannie had been accosted in Dollar Tree Store and in the parking lot. She fought back and came away the winner. She warned women to practice caution.