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Officers, Take Heed: Protecting Against Offender Attacks

NCJ Number
Corrections Today Volume: 65 Issue: 1 Dated: February 2003 Pages: 70-73
Robert L. Thornton; Ronald G. Schweer
Date Published
February 2003
4 pages
This article presents suggestions for ways in which law enforcement officials may protect themselves from the varied hazards they experience in their own homes.
Noting that law enforcement officials and their agencies need to be prepared in order to respond to personal attacks, the authors suggest that officers prepare an emergency response profile in order to save time and alleviate confusion in the event of such an attack. Following suggestions that the profile contain information such as the officer’s home address and phone numbers, the officer’s spouse’s contact information, information concerning the officer’s children, instructions for ways to contact additional relatives, a list of health concerns, and the officer’s preference of who the notification officer and family liaison should be in the event of a critical incident, the authors present a series of residential security guidelines. Focusing on various ways to secure an officer’s residence, the authors detail improvements that should be made to windows, doors, and garages in addition to the need for interior and perimeter lighting, security systems, and mailbox safety features. Presenting a list of additional recommendations, the authors argue that restricting the possession of house keys, locking all entrances to an officer’s home, using a work mailing address, destroying envelopes that show an officer’s full name, developing friendly relationships with neighbors, possessing an unlisted phone number, being alert to public utility crews, noting suspicious vehicles, refusing unordered packages, maintaining fire extinguishers in the home, and posting emergency numbers in a prominent place are all effective ways to protect the safety of police officers. With almost half of all community corrections officers receiving threats or assaults during the course of their careers, it is important for police officers and their agencies to take safety precautions seriously.