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Time for a refresher on personal safety

With the sad story about the disappearance of the Poway teenager in the news over the past week, we thought it would be a good time for a refresher on safety and security matters. And it’s not just about our children. Everyday, we potentially put ourselves in situations where harm could come, whether it’s crossing the street, jogging at the Cove or the Shores, or getting out of the car at the mall.

While we live in a community relatively free of crime, it’s good to occasionally review the world around us and to remind family members and coworkers about safety tips.

The list of tips that the San Diego Police Department shows on the Crime Prevention & Education section of its Web site at www.sandiego.gov/police is enough to make you want to lock your door and never go out again. But, taken as basic information, it’s a good refresher.

It may seem obvious to “know where your children are at all times” or to “never leave your child alone in a vehicle, restroom...” But what about having updated information files on your children or being aware of people they don’t want to be with and why?

Then there’s the whole world of the Internet and social networking — and for all of us, the threat of identity theft.

Remind your children and teens that if they’re somewhere that they feel they are in danger from a stranger or even feel like they are in danger from something they’ve done (such as drinking too much or thoughts of suicide) that they should call 9-1-1.

One tip that may not be on the list for La Jolla parents is to let the family know that our fire stations may be another safety zone. While a fire department spokesman said there’s not always someone there, just the fact that it is a public place may act as a deterrent to a criminal.

(Our stations are at 7870 Ardath Lane at Torrey Pines Road, 809 Nautilus St. near La Jolla High, and at 2110 Via Casa Alta on Mount Soledad.)

Also, not to raise alarms unnecessarily, but it is important to remember that the state Department of Justice is required by law to post information about the whereabouts of registered sex offenders. (It’s not a surefire list and the Web site makes it clear that “not all sex offenders have been caught or convicted” — and it doesn’t include information on all convicted sex offenders.)

A quick review shows there are five living within the 92037 ZIP code. To find out details, go to

www.meganslaw.ca.gov

.

Sometimes a little information can go a long way toward avoiding an unwanted predicament.