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News | Dec. 13, 2021

Safety is paramount during the holidays

By Russell K. Pitts, antiterrorism officer DLA Installation Management Richmond

Holiday safety should be a priority from late November to mid-January. This is a time when families gather, parties are scheduled, and travel plans are on the rise. When it comes to the festive season, there are many safety and security concerns to take into consideration, such as changes in weather and driving habits, shifts in work/life balance and, often, additional strains on the families.

If you have seen the news recently, there are many stories of criminals seeking to exploit easing pandemic restrictions and increasing public holiday gatherings to conduct attacks against a range of potential targets with little or no warning. The recent increase of reported violence, including large-scale smash and grab type thefts, increased gun violence, and vehicle ramming attacks raises the concern for violence.

Defense Logistics Agency Installation Management Richmond Security and Emergency Services professionals want you to enjoy the holiday season and offer some easy to apply security and safety tips:

  • Keep a low profile. Your dress, conduct and mannerisms should not attract attention. Make an effort to blend into the local environment. 
  • When feasible and possible, avoid wearing military uniforms or other identifiable clothing while traveling off-installation. If possible, remove military headgear, remove your CAC/badge, and cover uniform when traveling in vehicles. 
  • Avoid isolated areas, side streets, civil disturbances, and demonstrations. 
  • Verify all deliveries and repairs through proper credentials or other documents. Contact the people within the agency or company for additional verification. 
  • When in a restaurant or at a holiday event (tree lighting, parades, etc.), locate emergency exits upon entering, choose a place that has the greatest field of view, and do not reveal after-event plans to strangers. 
  • Examine mail for suspicious letters or parcels. 
  • Lock all your purchase in the trunk of a vehicle or hide them from public view.
  • Walk in groups and stay in well light areas.
  • Stress the importance of security and the seriousness of the threat to the whole family. 
  • Be alert to your surroundings and report suspicious personnel or activities to local authorities. See Something! Say Something!
  • Remember to trust your instincts!