ABILENE POLICE DEPARTMENT
Safety at Home
Safety Tips While Driving
- Never pick up hitchhikers.
- Keep car doors locked at all times.
- Before leaving your house or the store to go to your car, look around and be aware of what is going on.
- Always have your keys ready to unlock the door so you can enter without delay.
- As you are entering your car, look into the back seat.
- Always have at least half a tank of gas in your car.
- Keep your vehicle in good shape.
- Travel on well-lighted streets and avoid taking short cuts.
- If you are followed, drive to the nearest open business for help or drive to the police or fire department. Never go home while being followed.
- Park in areas that will be well lighted when you return to your car.
- Don't leave your house keys with your car when having your car serviced.
- Women driving alone should never stop to aid a stranger in a stalled car. Proceed to an open business and report the car to the police.
- If you have car trouble, raise the hood, then stay in your car. When someone offers assistance, do not roll the window down. Talk to them through the window and ask them to call someone for you. Never go with a stranger.
- Notify your family and friends of your travel plans.
Safety Tips While Walking
- Avoid walking alone. Walk with someone or where other people are near.
- Stay in well lighted areas, away from alleys, bushes, and entry ways. Avoid shortcuts through parks, vacant lots, and other deserted areas.
- Don't hitchhike or accept rides from strangers.
- If a car pulls along beside you and the driver calls you over to ask a question, avoid getting near the car.
- If you are followed, go to the nearest business for help. Turn around and walk in the other direction. This will force the driver to turn around to follow you.
- Avoid carrying extra money or valuables on your person. If you must carry a purse, keep it close. Don't dangle it.
- Remember to be aware of your surroundings and the people around you.
- Don't walk alone, especially at night. Your vulnerability to street crime is reduced as much as 70 percent by simply being in a group.
Tips for Dating and to Singles
- Don't go to or leave from a club alone. You are safer in numbers.
- Don't accept blind dates.
- Don't accept rides from strangers.
- Don't take a first time acquaintance home.
- If you must leave with a first time acquaintance, make sure a friend knows the person and where you're going.
- Don't go to private places on a date until you are better acquainted.
- Don't give out personal information until you are better acquainted.
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Drug Use and Gang Activity
Signs of Drug Use
NEED ANSWERS? Below you will find information on Signs of Drug Use and Gang Activity
Methamphetamines: "Wired," sleeplessness for days and weeks at a time, total loss of appetite, extreme weight loss, dialated pupils, excited, talkative, deluded sense of power, paranoia, depression, loss of control, nervousness, unusual sweating, shaking, anxiety, hallucinations, aggression, violence, dizziness, mood changes, blurred vision, mental confusion, agitation.
Cocaine: Impaired thinking, confused, anxious, depressed, short tempered, panic attacks, suspiciousness, dilated pupils, sleeplessness, loss of appetite, decreased sexual drive, restlessness, irritability, very talkative, scratching, hallucinations, paranoia.
LSD (Acid): Dilated pupils, skin discoloration, loss of coordination, false sense of power, euphoria, distortion of time and space, hallucinations, confusion, paranoia, nausea, vomiting, loss of control, anxiety, panic, helplessness, and self destructive behavior.
PCP: Sometimes violent or bizarre behavior, suicide has often occurred, paranoia, fearfulness, anxiety, aggressive or withdrawn, skin flushing, sweating, dizziness, total numbness, and impaired perceptions.
Inhalants: Short-lasting euphoria, giggling, silliness, dizziness. Then come the headaches and full-blown "faintings" or going unconscious. Longterm Use: Short-term memory loss, emotional instability, impairment of reasoning, slurred speech, clumsy staggering gait, eye flutter, tremors, hearing loss, loss of sense of smell, and escalating stages of brain atrophy. Sometimes these serious longterm effects are reversible with body detoxification and nutritional therapy; sometimes the brain damage is irreversible or only partially reversible.
Heroin: Chemically enforced euphoria. "Nodding," which is a dreamlike state, near sleep, drifting off for minutes or hours. For long time abusers heroin may act like a stimulant and they can do a normal daily routine; however, for others, it leaves them completely powerless to do anything.
Marijuana: Compulsive eating, bloodshot red eyes that are squinty (they may have trouble keeping them open), dry mouth, excessive and uncontrollable laughter, forgetfulness, short term memory loss, extreme lethargy, delayed motor skills, occasional paranoia, hallucinations, laziness, lack of motivation, stupidity, sickly sweet smell on body, hair, and clothes, and strong mood changes and behaviors when the person is "high".
Depressants (Tranquilizers and Barbituates): Decreased inhibition, slowed motor coordination, lethargy, relaxed muscles, staggering gait, poor judgement, slow, uncertain reflexes, disorientation, and slurred speech.
A gang is defined as an organization, association or group of three or more persons, whether formal or informal, which has a common name and/or common identifying signs or symbols, whose members individually and/or collectively engage in criminal activity.
- Identity through recognition
- Perception of belonging
- Peer pressure
- Protection (real or perceived)
- Lack of family life
- Family ties to gangs (it is expected or acceptable to join a gang)
- Brotherhood/interpersonal bonding
- Low self-esteem
How Do Gangs Recruit Members?
Gangs influence youths into joining by using the following methods:
Peer pressure, offers protection
Challenging kids to take risks
Invitations to parties where gang-related activities are occurring
Family members already belong
Affection and attention shown to the youths by gang members that may not be given at home
What Are The Consequences of Gang Involvement?
Short Term Consequences
In trouble with law enforcement
Drop in performance at school
Withdrawal from family
Drug and alcohol involvement
“Dirty work” for the gang, earning their “bones” or “stripes”
Long Term Consequences
Loss of opportunities for education/employment due to criminal record
Time spent in jail or prison
Possibility of losing family or friends
Risk of personal injury or death
Risk of family members’ lives
Increased risk of violence in criminal activity
What Are Signs of a Gang in My Neighborhood?
Youths hanging out
Increase in crime- Gang-related acts such as burglary, vandalism and assaults.
How Can Neighbors Help?
You and your neighbors can work to eliminate gangs and drugs from your community and neighborhoods. They key is organization:
1) Get to know the neighbors on your block.
2) Contact your local law enforcement agency for advice and assistance for organization tips.
3) Contact Crime Stoppers
What Are Signs of Gang Involvement?
Changes in attitude or behavior
Openly admits gang affiliation
Showing colors (bandanas, t-shirts, jackets, shoes, ball caps)
Association with known gang members
Unwillingness to discuss their activities
Loss of family interest
Reluctance to be seen with other family members
Unexplained injuries (cuts and bruises)
Trouble with law enforcement or at school
Has unexplained cash or goods (clothing, jewelry, electronics)
Tattoos or graffiti-style writing on clothing or books
Disregard for persons or property
Exhibiting signs of alcohol and drug use
How Can Parents Intervene?
Spend quality time with your child.
Encourage your child to become involved in athletics or other group activities that have adult supervision.
Set reasonable rules and enforce them consistently.
Demonstrate how to set goals.
Monitor and support child’s progress.
Teach social skills that enhance self-esteem and how to cope with peer pressure.
Educate the teen or child about the dangers of gang involvement.
Provide strong religious background.
Keep an open line of communication with your child.
Know your child’s friends and where they hang out.
Keep track of your child’s work at school.
Teens and children need to be involved with positive activities without a lot of leisure time.
Keep them involved in after-school activities, athletics or a job along with family time.