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Safety expert explains how to keep situational awareness amid increase in crime

A safety instructor from Stock & Barrel Gun Club explained what situational awareness is and shared tips if people want to use self-defense tools.

MINNEAPOLIS — With rising crime on the top of people's minds across the Twin Cities metro, a safety expert joined KARE11 Saturday to provide some tips for how people can keep situational awareness when they're out and about.

Randy Ferris, a safety instructor from Stock & Barrel Gun Club, explained on Saturday morning how important situational awareness is and what it is.

According to Ferris, situational awareness is being aware of one's environment and what's going on around them. He described the current climate in the metro area as "condition yellow," where people should feel relaxed but alert, not observing what's happening but seeing it and paying attention to it.

He said this is especially important in new environments and is simple as scanning the environment when leaving a building or car and making sure no one is watching or following them.

Ferris added that people should walk with their heads up, be aware of their surroundings and eliminate distractions like earbuds or their phones.

When confronted by a criminal, Ferris said safety is paramount and to give them whatever they want in order to get away from the situation as quickly as possible. If an attacker tries to take someone, their best option is to cause a scene or use a self-defense tool, like an extremely powerful flashlight to blind an attacker, a pepper gel gun or an extremely loud panic alarm.

Ferris explained that if people use any self-defense tools, they need to be easily accessible in an emergency situation.

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