Missouri State Highway Patrol Public Information Officer shares personal safety tips

CAPE GIRARDEAU, Mo. – Sgt. Clark Parrott, Missouri State Highway Patrol Public Information Officer, could not emphasize one point enough during a personal safety presentation on Wednesday.

“The number one thing I want people to take away from this is to always be aware of your surroundings at all times,” he said. “Anytime we walk out of a convenience store, grocery store, things like that, just be aware that there are threats out there, that there are some individuals out there who mean us harm.”

Parrott presented to the KBSI Fox 23 team regarding three areas of concern: safety on the street, safety in the car, and safety at home, school, and work.

He said eliminating distractions and taking note of things out of the ordinary are difference makers when it comes to keeping us safe.

“When we walk out of a store, you need to be looking for things that just don’t look right, strange vehicles that are parked next to yours, that sort of thing,” Sgt. Parrott said. “But again, it does us no good to keep saying ‘be aware of our surroundings’ if we have our eyes on our phone or other distractions around us like other cars, vehicles, people. The number one thing is to look out for things that just don’t look right.”

Parrott used “The Four A’s” to describe what to look for when it comes to troubling situations:

  1. Awareness: Be aware of surroundings.
  2. Alertness: Be alert to unusual activities.
  3. Avoidance: Avoid problem areas.
  4. Act: Take action on information gained during the presentation.

Anyone can use the safety practices he discussed, such as being aware of your surroundings and watching for things out of the ordinary, in their everyday lives to help protect themselves and their loved ones.

“Being a father of three children, this is something I preach to my kids,,” Parrott said. “Always be aware of your surroundings, and if something is not comfortable, don’t do it,” he said.

The bottom line: make your personal safety a habit.

“Don’t be afraid to call and ask for help because there is no overreaction to our personal safety,” Sgt. Parrott said.

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