Metro-East News

Want to stay safe in your community? The Swansea police chief has some pointers.

Swansea Police Chief Steve Johnson wants you to think like a police officer.

That means knowing what to do when you encounter a dangerous situation, then having a backup plan for when the initial plan doesn’t work out.

“When we pull up to a domestic disturbance and ‘this’ happens, we are going to do this,” Johnson posted on Facebook. “When that doesn’t work, then we have a backup plan we have already prepared for.”

>>COMMUNITY ALERT<<SITUATIONAL AWARENESS08-07-17Swansea Residents,I ask for each and every one of you to practice ...

Posted by Swansea Police Department on Monday, August 7, 2017

Johnson calls it “when/then thinking” or “situational awareness,” and he said it can make the difference in keeping yourself safe on a daily basis.

“It means being aware of your surroundings at all times,” Johnson wrote. “When driving put that phone away and get there safely. When walking or going to an ATM watch all around you and watch who is watching you. When driving and you are getting ready to slow to a stop, watch other cars around you. If one tries to block you in, do you have a plan? Did you lock your doors? Did you leave enough space to simply drive away? Focus on the moment.”

He said crime seems to increase near the end of summer, but said it can be blamed on “many factors combined.”

“Every community sees ups and downs with crime. No matter where you live it can and will happen,” Johnson wrote. “We need the good citizens who call us ... You become a force multiplier for every good citizen and child when you watch out and call us, when you watch out for yourself and others, when you lock the door, when you think when/then or when you simply help your neighbor.”

“You will also never see me sitting with my back to a door, being unaware at an ATM drive-thru, or day dreaming at a stoplight. I work at it all the time to be aware.”