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Sheriff Neustrom Offers Family Safety Tips

Wednesday, July 17, 2002

Millions of American families will travel to vacation destinations near and far this summer season. Countless hours, and perhaps even weeks and months, often go into making travel plans to ensure the best results possible. But before you take to the road, ask yourself, “Did I do everything I can to make my family, my home and myself as safe for vacation as possible?”

Sheriff Neustrom says, “Preventing a crime during family travel starts with making sure your home is protected while you’re away.

Sheriff Neustrom advises Lafayette Parish residents to take these basic safety precautions before they take the road:

: Stop mail and newspapers, or ask a neighbor to pick them up every day.

: Put several household lights on timers so they turn on and off at appropriate times.

: Arrange to have grass mowed while your gone.

: Make sure all your doors and window locks are in working order--- and use them.

: Activate your home alarm (if you have one).

: Enlist the help of a neighbor, ask him to park in your driveway overnight to create the

impression that someone is home.

Preparing for a trip requires a lot of planning. Where to go, where to stay, how long it’ll take to get from one place to another and what to take with you make up the planning formula. That same attention to detail, also decrease the chances of crime joining you on your journey.

: Take only essential credit cards; plan to use credit cards or travelers’ checks instead of

cash whenever possible.

: Carry your purse close to your body, or wallet in an inside pocket.

: Keep anything of value such as medicine and jewelry in a carry-on that stays with you.

: Don’t display expensive jewelry, cameras and other items that might draw attention.

: Check maps before you go out so you can tour confidently.

: Stick to well-lighted, well-traveled streets at all times.

: Always lock your car when it’s parked, even if the stop is brief.

Traveling safely with your family also means sticking together and keeping an eye on your children at all times. Make sure they know where you’re staying, and teach them what to do if they get lost or separated. You might want to agree on a meeting place, just in case. And by all means, make sure your kids know not to accept rides or favors from strangers.

Vacation travel is one of the great joys of life. Make your family vacation a memorable one for all the right reasons.

Lt Craig Stansbury
Public Information Officer
Lafayette Parish Sheriff's Office