|SOUTHEASTERN OFFERS PEPPER SPRAY COURSE AND SAFETY TIPS
HAMMOND – With concern for personal safety heightened in southern Louisiana, Southeastern Louisiana University’s Department of Continuing Education is sponsoring a series of classes on the popular self defense aid, pepper spray.
The course, taught by Southeastern Police Department sergeants Hal Price and Jason Johnston, will be held from 9 to 11 a.m. September 14, October 12 and November 16 in room 104 of the University Center.
Price said the classes will provide students with information regarding carrying and use of defense sprays. Both Price and Johnston are certified chemical weapons instructors, training police officers at Southeastern and surrounding agencies.
“Like carrying any type of personal protection equipment, such as a gun, the decision to carry or use a defensive spray rests with the individual and their level of comfort,” said Price. “It's just one more option a person may utilize when considering the personal protection of themselves and their loved ones.”
The course will also teach participants how to select and purchase the right spray. Since there are no governmental controls over the manufacture of sprays, many products may contain carcinogens or other ingredients that do not work as advertised or spray at all, Price said.
“It is best to know this before you buy, so that you don't find out the spray you bought at the local discount store doesn't work when you're facing an attacker in the dead of night,” he said.
Price said he and Johnston will give a brief history of modern defense sprays and instructions on how to properly store them, along with information on what sprays can and can’t do.
Another course is scheduled for December 14, time and location to be announced. Registration for each course is $30, and includes a free can of self defense spray. For additional information, contact Continuing Education at 985-549-2301.
For those both on and off-campus, however, Price has some safety rules:
- Walk with a friend whenever possible.
- If alone, let someone know where you're going and what time you expect to return.
- Stay alert and tuned in to your surroundings.
- Walk with confidence, show that you are in control and let your body language speak for you.
- Trust your instincts. If something or someone makes you uncomfortable, avoid them or leave.
- Stick to well-lit, well traveled areas; avoid shortcuts.
- Know your neighborhood where you live and work. Know where the police station, fire station, anywhere that is open late where you can go if you feel threatened.
- If you think you are being followed while driving, don't go home. Go to the police station or somewhere you feel safe.
- If you think you are being followed while walking, abruptly change directions or cross the street, stay in public areas and ask for help if you still think you are being followed.
- Don't flash large amounts of cash and don't wear expensive jewelry or clothes.
- Try to use ATM machines only in the daytime-stay aware of your surroundings while you are using the ATM.
- Carry a cellular phone-keep emergency numbers on speed dial.
- Be respectful of others and avoid verbal arguments.