Street Survival Tactics

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Street Survival Tactics

February 20, 2023 by Rick Grover - Views: 52

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Street Survival Tactics

Welcome back Street Survivors !  

S508-1.jpgGreetings Street Survivors! Glad to have you join us as we kick off another series of “Experts in the Field.” The experts I present in this series, are people I feel are the most knowledgeable and experienced in their respective fields, and in a perfect position to pass on valuable information to you and your family members.

Our first expert is a law enforcement officer that I have known and respected for years, and lives right here in Simpsonville with his beautiful wife Lori, 3 children and 4 grandchildren in the area! Officer Michael Thomas is a Master Deputy 2 with the Laurens County Sheriff’s office. After growing up in Mauldin, he started as a uniformed police officer here in Simpsonville when he was only 22 years old. After 24 years on the job, much of it as a School Resource Officer, Supervisor and 10 years as a Training Officer, Michael has seen a lot of changes and new challenges in the Upstate. Currently working in a local elementary / middle school, he really enjoys his daily interactions with students, teachers, and administrators.

School Resource Officers (SRO’s), can be compared to the Marshalls of the Old West, because they are often completely on their own and responsible for covering a large area while dealing with any kind of emergency that may occur. They must get to the scene quickly, and know what to do immediately. Although our local law enforcement agencies regularly train for a variety of threats, so do the teachers and staff of our local schools. Emergencies can run the entire spectrum from medical injuries, to trespassers trying to gain access to the school and even heated emotions from parents at sporting events. Additional threats like bullying, physical altercations and even cyber attacks can be a standard part of any day on our school campuses. 

S508-2.jpgOfficer Thomas has some excellent observations and advice for our parents and grandparents, to help provide a safe and effective learning environment for our children. One important concept is Situational Awareness, which is always high on the list of skills everyone should develop. The best way to avoid a fight, an injury or even a car accident, is to be fully aware of your surroundings, eliminating distractions like earbuds, walking and talking on a cell phone oblivious to the obstacles right in front of you, etc. Anticipation of the unexpected actions of others, especially while driving, takes a lot of focus. Even while driving slowly through the car line or parking lot of your local school, always anticipate a child running out in front of you. “Keep your head on a swivel”, is a common saying in both police and military circles, and it certainly applies when driving through a school yard filled with excited children.

Inside the school, the teachers practice drills to lock down their rooms and various ways to protect the children if an intruder is on the premises. Parents can add another layer of protection by reporting any strange behavior they may see while on the campus to an administrator. If something or someone looks out of place, they probably are. Do not second guess yourself, and don’t talk yourself out of getting involved. Our most precious resource in this country is our children, and it will take all of us acting in concert to provide a secure atmosphere for them to grow into productive citizens.

Sometimes a child will just have a bad day and need a trusted adult they can talk to. Michael strongly recommends the parents help their children develop such a connection with a teacher, coach, school nurse or the SRO so they have someone they feel comfortable going to if being bullied, depressed, angry, scared or sick. This is an important support mechanism that can help each student make it through the day easier and with less stress. Many of our children return home to less than perfect environments, and the time they spend at school could be the best part of their day. 

Michael also stresses the need for parents to be actively involved in their children’s’ social media life which of course includes cell phones, Facebook, Instagram, and email among others. Children should not be sending or receiving photos without your full knowledge. Encourage your children to tell you about cyber bullying or other threats that my occur. Don’t be surprised if while you’re sleeping, your kids are on their phones, computer or tablets in the wee hours of the morning to get more privacy from your prying eyes! This info comes directly from the kids admitting it to their SRO. Set your alarm if you need to, but check in on them when they least expect it.

TikTok is a software that I highly recommend against and suggest you don’t allow your children or family members to download and use. This Chinese owned app is outlawed in 25 U.S. states, as well as many cities and college campuses.  Both the FCC and FBI have also expressed security concerns with this app. 

Thank you Officer Thomas for your dedication and commitment to our community, and keeping our students and teachers safe from the evil that does exist out there. Tip of the beret to all the SRO’s across the Upstate!

Stay safe out there, Street Survivors!

Rick ‘Pirate Hunter’ Grover strongly believes we are all in this together, and the more we learn and train, the better we will be prepared for any eventuality. This makes all of us part of an amazing neighborhood team of American Patriots. God Bless America!

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