Citizens learn to protect themselves at Refuse To Be A Victim se - WRBL

Citizens learn to protect themselves at Refuse To Be A Victim seminar

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COLUMBUS, Ga. -

Some Columbus residents spent Wednesday evening learning how to protect themselves from criminals at the Refuse To Be A Victim seminar.

The Muscogee County Marshal's Office conducts the Refuse To Be A Victim seminar monthly. Class instructor Cpl. Ezekiel Byrd says you have to do everything possible nowadays to not be a target for thieves and other predators.

CSU and Columbus High School students along with other proactive citizens gathered at the marshal's office to learn about safety.

The message of the day? Be prepared.

Columbus High freshman Lauryn Douglas says, "We came here mostly because we wanted to volunteer and get our hours in for high school, but it also ended up being a learning experience."

Seminar attendees learned about everything from safe guarding your home to international travel tips. CSU senior Venus Amezcua says, "We as Americans, when we leave the country, a lot of the people are not as accepting of who we are as we are of foreigners here."

Cpl. Byrd says with crime rates climbing, people need to do everything possible to protect themselves even if they think they're safe.

"Some people aren't concerned about it, and I think everybody needs to be concerned about it," says Cpl. Byrd, "to help their neighbors out, to be more vigilant or watchful for their surroundings and their neighbors."

Douglas says, "It teaches us what to do in the future if we're ever in that kind of situation." Her friend DaShaundra Fluellen adds, "And now we go out a lot and we want to be by ourselves, but it's more important to be with your friends for your safety."

Cpl. Byrd says the most important advice he gives students is make an emergency plan for your home. He says it's not just for burglaries, but also natural disasters and fires.

"They have kids, they have a husband, they have different people in their homes," he says, "and then something like that happens everybody goes different ways, so you want to have that safety plan to keep everybody together and keep everybody accountable."

If you're interested in taking the seminar next month, contact Capt. Lockette with the marshal's office at 706-325-1001.

The seminar is also available for churches and other large groups. It's totally free to the public.

Jessi Mitchell

Jessi joined the WRBL news team in October 2012 after working as a freelance production assistant for MTV Networks in Los Angeles.
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