We tend to think that robberies, burglaries, and home invasions happen to other people, not to us. After all, we’re the cops. Who would be stupid enough to try to rob us? Unfortunately, the world is full of stupid criminals. And crime can affect anyone, even us.
Look at the statistics compiled by the FBI. Guess what the number one reason why law enforcement officers are killed off duty? Being the victim of or intervening in a robbery or robbery attempt. Gang members have intentionally targeted an officer’s house for a burglary “because that’s where the guns are.” Also in recent years we’ve also seen a rise in revenge-style killings against law enforcement.
Consider the recent case of Philadelphia police officer Moses Walker Jr. At the end of his shift, he was walking down the street to catch a bus. It was roughly four blocks from his station house in north Philly when two suspects approached him on the street. They attempted to rob him. In response Walker tried to draw his firearm but was shot several times and died from his injuries. Th ink about this incident for a second. Now suppose you’re not the intended target. What would happen? How would you react? Now how would you react to the possibility of two parolees following your wife and daughters home from the store?
HARDENING THE TARGET
Violence can happen to any of us. There are evil people out there willing to do evil things and some don’t care if you’re a cop or not. We may not be able to stop some criminal’s violent intent. But we can make ourselves a harder target to hit so they’ll pass us by for someone else. It may sound cold, but we all know that criminals are lazy.
If it’s between burglarizing the house with the fence, dog, and alarm system, or the house where the occupants don’t lock the doors. We all know the bad guy is going to take the easy road. Make yourself and your loved ones that harder target.
Making you and your family a harder target to hit starts at home. Th ere are a few simple things you can do to make everyone in your household safer. The first and easiest thing you can do is to always lock your doors. It doesn’t matter if you live in the country or in the city, lock your doors. Th ere have been many cases of criminals entering homes through unlocked doors. Granted, a locked door isn’t going to stop a determined intruder, but it may slow him or her down long enough for you to grab your gun. Which brings me to the following point. Always carry off duty and always have a fi rearm available in the home.
While we’re on the topic of guns, how many of you have cleared your house with a replica firearm like a Blue Gun? You may know every inch of your home, but have you tried clearing it in the dark, with a firearm?
Learn what boards squeak in the living-room floor and how to cut those corners in the hallway before you need to do it for real.
Close your blinds before doing this so your neighbors don’t think you’ve gone postal, but practice and be prepared. Some other simple things to do in your home are to always keep your shades/blinds closed, especially after dark.
Don’t give the bad guys an opportunity to see the layout of your house, covet all the things you own, and know exactly where you are while you’re home. During daylight hours you may be able to spot someone surveying your home, but once it gets dark someone can stand outside just a few feet from a lighted room, and you’d never see them from the inside.
Most folks don’t make a lot of money and can’t afford an alarm system to be installed, so do the next best thing and get a dog. It doesn’t have to be a very big dog, just one that barks. My dog is up and growling if a strange car pulls into my neighbor’s driveway, and goes absolutely ballistic when one pulls into mine. Go to the pound and save a stray. You’ll be doing a good deed for man’s best friend, and the kids will love you for it. Have police periodicals and magazines like this one sent to a post office box or to the station. Have you done a background check on your mail carrier, and everyone who works in the post office? Of course not. So why tell everyone that a cop lives at your address?
These are just a few tips for making you and your loved ones a little safer and a harder target to hit. This isn’t about being paranoid; it’s about being alert to your surroundings and who is in those surroundings. It’s all about being prepared and having a plan of action because sometimes the bad guys try to make us the victim. Don’t be a victim; have a plan, fight back, and make the bad guy sorry he ever crossed your path.