Mom and Dad police officers give us their expert tips.
Within three or four days, two promising young college students were shot dead near their college campuses. These incidents have struck fear in the hearts of Moms. Learn what you can do to protect your kids as they go off to college:
1. The best weapon is prevention: "It's not about what happens when he's grabbing you. It's about how the person gets across the parking lot and beside you in the first place. A weapon is the last resort," said Samantha Wilson, child safety expert and police officer. Instruct your eager college-goers to be smart about where they go and pay attention to their surroundings.
2. Smart weaponry: Tony Newsom, police officer and author of Top 10 Crimes recommends you purchase either pepper spray or a stun gun for your kid. Make sure they read the manuals so that they know how to use them.
3. Check their environment: When moving into a new dorm, get new locks for the windows and have the lock re-keyed, said Newsom. After all, a lot of people have lived their before your student.
4. Have a buddy: At the risk of sounding overprotective, tell them to let someone know where they are going and who they are going with at all times. And if they ever feel unsafe, use a student services escort, said Newsom.
5. Take responsibility: Wilson stresses that many crimes usually are not random, but occur because a perpetrator sees someone repeatedly. "Reinforce to your student that they have more control over their safety than they think," she said.