A Safer Naper

July - See Something, Say Something

Naperville is consistently lauded as one of the safest cities in the country. Why? We like to think that one of the reasons behind our success as a community is the constant involvement of residents in public safety every day. 

Residents are our eyes and ears in the community. You are able to tell us when something doesn’t look right, when something’s going wrong or when someone is hurt. Take these true and recent examples, which prove the importance of saying something when you see something out of the ordinary:

ATTEMPTED KIDNAPPING: On December 8, 2017, an observant citizen witnessed an individual pull up to and begin interacting with a child waiting at a school bus stop. He found this alarming and immediately called 9-1-1. By providing timely and accurate suspect and vehicle information, this resident allowed our officers to locate the suspect within a short period of time and arrest him for attempted child abduction, driving under the influence and possession of a controlled substance.

BURGLARY SUSPECT: On April 5, 2018, our officers were dispatched to a report of a residential burglary. Responding officers searched the house for the suspect, but the offender had already fled the scene. Our officers started talking to neighbors, and one neighbor reported seeing a suspicious subject in the area just prior to the burglary. That description was broadcast to the officers in the area, one of whom located the individual nearly a mile away, approached him to investigate, linked him to the incident and subsequently arrested him.

MISSING MAN: On June 4, 2018, police used the city’s emergency notification system – Naper Notify – to ask for the community’s help locating an 83-year-old man who had been missing since the previous day. In less than an hour, an observant resident on his way to work saw a man matching the missing man’s description, immediately called police and brought about a positive resolution to this incident.

We hope these examples will encourage you to speak up and dial 9-1-1 when you see something that's out of the ordinary, dangerous, or makes you uncomfortable.

See Something, Say Something

SITUATIONAL AWARENESS

A large part of knowing when to say something is by being aware of what’s going on around you and knowing what’s out of the ordinary. This is called situational awareness.

Situational awareness is, in the simplest of terms, being aware of your surroundings. It may sound easy, but with the speed at which our lives move these days and the number of distractions we encounter on a regular basis, it’s far more difficult than one might realize.

Here are a few tips to help you hone this personal safety skillset:

  • Keep your head up. Walking with your eyes glued to a mobile device or other distraction significantly decreases your ability to take in what’s happening around you or notice potential danger.
  • Use your peripheral vision. This takes practice, but try maintaining your point of focus while using your peripheral vision to be monitor a wider degree of space to be more aware of what’s happening around you.
  • Don’t just look. See. We all scan a room when we enter, but are you taking notice of where the exits are, whether there are any unattended or out-of-place objects around or if you notice anyone acting suspiciously? 
  • Use reflective surfaces. Instead of looking through a store window to the merchandise inside, look at the window to see the reflection of what’s behind you or outside of your peripheral vision.
  • Trust your instincts. Your inner self has a way of alerting you to potential danger. You just have to listen to it. If you are uncomfortable for any reason, remove yourself from the situation, speak up to a friend/coworker/store employee or, if you think a crime is about to be committed, call 9-1-1.

By practicing situational awareness, you can avoid being in dangerous situations and even identify criminal behavior. The more aware we are of what’s going on around us, the less opportunity there will be for accidents, crimes or other unfortunate circumstances.