Rockford Department of Public Safety’s tips to keep children safe

As school is back in session, the sidewalks and streets around our elementary schools have become busy with students and parents.  In the past few weeks, the Rockford Department has received a few reports of suspicious vehicles or activity near our school zones. Our officers immediately investigated these complaints, but found no evidence of criminal activity. We continue to regard the safety of our children as a top priority and encourage everyone to immediately report suspicious activity.

The Rockford Department of Public Safety would like to provide you with a few tips to help us keep our community and children safe.

Know where your children are at all times. Make it a rule that your children must ask permission or check in with you before going anywhere. If they are with other children and adults, know who they are and how to get ahold of them.

Point out safe places. Make sure that your children know the safe places in their neighborhoods.  Businesses, friends and trusted neighbors may provide a safe place for children to go if they are in trouble.

Teach children to trust their instincts.  If something seems wrong, it usually is.  Often times we ignore our own instincts because of a desire to be polite.  It is important to trust our instincts and act on them to avoid danger.

Teach your children to be assertive. Please encourage our children to be loud and assertive when dealing with strangers or suspicious situations.  This is one time that we want our children to be loud and “make a scene” to draw attention to the situation.

Encourage your children to play with others.  Children that are traveling with friends or in a group are difficult to for strangers make contact with.

Ignore the rumors.  Information related to most incidents, suspicious or otherwise, is generally inaccurate or embellished.  Much like the telephone game, facts from a real-life incident are usually added, subtracted or created to make the story more salacious.

As always, if you see something say something.  We encourage all of our residents to report suspicious activity to the Rockford Department of Public Safety.  We are never too busy to address suspicious activity in our community.

If you have questions, please contact the Rockford Department of Public Safety at (616) 866-9557.