February 20, 2024

Leesburg Police Share Community Safety Tips

1.6 min read| Published On: February 20th, 2024|

By Cindy Peterson

Leesburg Police Share Community Safety Tips

1.6 min read| Published On: February 20th, 2024|

At the recent WQBQ’s Meet, Greet, and Eat event, Sgt. Shannon Walsh of the Leesburg Police Department delivered a message on situational awareness, shedding light on the critical importance of being vigilant and prepared in various scenarios.

“This information is vital for the public to identify potential hazards and be able to make effective decision making,” Sgt. Walsh says.

Here are some of the key highlights:

What is Faster: Action or Reaction?  When driving a vehicle under normal conditions are, PRT is 1.5 seconds. In fact, no matter what the stimulus is, there is always a delay of .25 seconds to a visual stimulus, .17 seconds for an auditory stimulus and .15 seconds for a touch stimulus.

Situational awareness may be lost because:

  • Fatigue and Stressful situations
    • Not having the ‘time to think’
  • High workload and Distractions
    • Fixation on one thing to the exclusion of everything else
  • Vigilance failures
    • If it feels wrong then it probably is, but ignoring it

Ways to practice Situational Awareness

  • Trust your gut!
    • If you feel uneasy about someone or something- remove yourself
  • Limit Distractions
    • Have one head phone in as you are walking/running
    • Notice who is behind you and next to you
  • Notice nonverbal cues
    • Does their body language align with that they are saying?
  • Watch people without staring
    • Observe people around you see how they react
  • Identify Exits
    • If you need to leave quickly pre identify exits
  • Be Mindful-
    • You can hear, smell and see everything and react a lot quicker

As cliche as it sounds, if you see something, say something. If you see something out of place, strange, or odd, DO NOT delay in notifying law enforcement. You can contact the Leesburg Police Department at 352-787-2121 or dial 911.

Other helpful tips:

  • Self
    • If you go to an ATM at night use one that is highly visible 
    • Use the buddy system
    • Don’t post on Social Media travel plans
    • In crowded areas- men keep your wallet in your front pocket- Women keep purses in front you- not on the back of  chair at dinner 
  • Home 
    • If you have numbers on your house, make sure they are illuminated
    • Plant thorny bushes under windows (knockout roses, catci, dwarf bougainvillea)
    • Keep plants manicured to be able to see outside all doors/windows
    • Motion sensor lights- outdoor lighting-

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About the Author: Cindy Peterson

Originally from the small town of Berryville, Arkansas, Cindy has become a multimedia specialist in journalism, photography, videography and video editing.

She has a B.S. in Communications from the University of Central Arkansas and is a correspondent for The Daily Commercial, LakeFront TV and Beacon College’s PBS talk show, “A World of Difference,” where she received an Anthem Award and Telly Award.

When she isn’t working, Cindy spends time with her husband, Ryan, and son, David, traveling and taking photos of landscapes and wildlife.

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