*Learning to Pay Attention to Detail*
By: Moonshadow
30 July 2007

Even the most novice of people can learn to make this a way of life and make a difference. You never know when it may save your behind, someone in your family, or even a local officer patrolling!

There are a lot of things most people wouldn’t think of that should cause you to be suspicious.

Where ever you go, and whatever you are doing, you should always be aware of your surroundings the people, their behavior, vehicles, terrain, etc. Always know where you are, street names, landmarks, buildings and such. An escape route if needed is always important. Never let yourself get backed up in a corner with nowhere to go. Keep your space between you and that nice looking stranger asking for directions. Directions may not be all that is on their mind. Watch their eyes and their body language. Listen to your gut feelings. If you are feeling uneasy there is probably a good reason for it. Take mental note of height, weight, hair, eye color, and any scars or tattoos. If they have a vehicle get the make, model, color, license number, and any dents etc. As soon as you are in a safe spot again jot all of this information down before you forget it.

If you live in a rural area, get to know your local LEO. Often they are patrolling alone with back up a ways off. All of the information you can give them is helpful and may save someone’s life. Unfortunately their dispatch doesn’t always relay info given to them by the every day Joe citizen. I know this because at one time I was married to a resident deputy who relied heavily on the information given to him by the locals. Backup from another LEO if he needed it was 30 minutes away.

If someone is on your property, you approach them and suddenly they start asking a lot of dumb questions. Well, most likely they are casing the place to rob it later. Make note of their personal information, vehicle information, etc. Call your local PD or SO’s office and relay the info to them. Or, give it directly to your local LEO if you know them. They may not get the info if it goes through dispatch. Get a picture of them or their vehicle if possible. If you or anyone in your area are robbed this will come in handy later. About a year ago I noticed an out of place car parking in the neighborhood during mid-day. On the 3rd day I walked out in the street and took a picture of the car and the guy sitting in it. He never came back. Something to worry about? I don’t know but it took care of the problem.

My personal mindset changed 110% after being married to a LEO for 10yrs. I went on a lot of ride-alongs. The two most important things I learned was to listen to my gut feelings about something or someone, it was right more than not but I wouldn't have known that had I not been married to him, and to pay close attention to detail and body language. For instance, I lived in a rural area and ran across this guy jumping a fence onto the ranch from the main road and preceded to inform him he needed to leave. This dude started walking towards me and just the look in his eye scared the crap out of me, so much so that I didn't go home. I went to the nearest occupied ranch house and called dispatch with a full description. It turned out that this guy was a murder suspect from a county just south of us. Now, I never would have known this had my then husband not told me. Nor would he have been caught if I hadn't learned to pay attention to detail. This is just one of several instances. So be aware and stay alert to detail.

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