Get home safe: A guide to a safe night out
With the recent attacks at local areas popular with the queer community, it is as important as ever to stay safe when arriving and leaving a bar or club.
Following a few simple steps everyone can stay safe, and regardless of size, age or gender, people need to take a few precautions when going out, said Sgt. Julie Jorgensen, a member of the West Valley City Police Department.
“It’s important to always be aware,” Jorgensen said. “Don’t leave the club alone, avoid low-traffic areas and don’t get distracted by texting, talking on the phone or listening to your iPod.”
When walking to a car with a companion, go to the closest car and drive together to the next, she said. And when arriving at a club, park as close as possible and, wherever possible, in well-lit areas.
Salt Lake City Police Department, along with more than 50 other law enforcement agencies, recently launched an anonymous text line. Through any mobile phone the number, ‘CRIMES,’ or 274637, can be used to send a text message. Texting this number is completely anonymous and while police can respond with a text and ask to speak with the person who sent the message, the number is scrambled and never shared with law enforcement. It is particularly useful for those that are nervous to approach the police.
“When it comes to crime prevention we want to encourage the mindset of, ‘If you see something, say something’ as many crimes are prevented and solved by members of the public with their shared knowledge,” said Salt Lake County Sheriff Jim Winder, in a press release.
A free, downloadable app for Android and iPhone called TipSoft will allow users to submit videos and phones.
“Law enforcement agencies have to keep pace with technology to effectively fight crime,” said Attorney General Mark Shurtleff, in a press release. “We have a lot of agencies on board but we need to get the word out so we can close cases and keep communities safe.”
In summation: Get Home Safe – Tips for Leaving a Bar or Club
- Park as close as you can to the club
- Park in well-lit and traveled areas
- Leave with at least one other person
- Walk to the first car together, then drive to the second car
- Be aware as you leave
- Don’t get distracted by texting, listening to an iPod or anything else
- Don’t cut through parking lots, alleyways or other low-traveled and poorly-lit areas
Crime-prevention ideas are good ways to prevent crimes, especially those that are violent. Hate-crime laws are good ways to punish those who commit crimes.
While crime-prevention ideas help before a crime is committed, and hate-crime laws help after a crime is committed, nothing is more effective to stop crimes when they are committed than being armed.
A combination of all three strategies is necessary to protect oneself from the kind of crimes that LGBT Utahns face. But like any three-legged stool, missing one or more of the strategies dooms the others.
QSaltLake does our community a great service to share information about all three strategies.