from the Madison Night Mysteries
by Diane Vallere
Hello, Ma’am, Tex Allen here. Police lieutenant for the Lakewood Police Department in Dallas, Texas. I’ve been on the force for about twenty-some years now and I take my job seriously. That means I take your safety seriously. And even though there are some residents who insist on ignoring my advice to stay out of my investigations (like Madison Night), I think it’s important to review general safety precautions every now and then. You might not like the fact that I’m a declared bachelor or that I have been known to date women half my age. I’m okay with that.
- Be aware of your surroundings. This should go without saying, but I’ve seen too many homicides to assume anything. No matter where you are, whether it’s a place you know or new territory, be aware of the people around you. You never know what’s going through the mind of the person next to you
- Listen to your instincts: If that little voice in your head says to get out of a particular location, then get out of that particular location. Period. What is worse: being told you’re imagining things, or being a victim? Yeah, that’s what I thought.
- Avoid carjackings and car muggings: lock your doors, don’t leave your purse on the passenger-side seat. Women have a tendency to sit in their cars and do—hell, I don’t know what you do. But too often, I get a call about a carjacking that took place in a parking lot where someone was sitting in the car with the doors unlocked. So lock your doors when you get into the car, or better yet, start your car and get going to wherever it is you’re going.
- When you travel, whether you stay at 5-star hotels or 1-star hotels, know that crimes against women happen in them all too often. Don’t give out your room number. Don’t answer the door if you’re not expecting room service. And consider carrying a rubber door stop with you. Jam it under the door at night—it’ll hold the door better than the bolt on its own.