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Stranger Danger Jolts Parkville

Photo by Lesli Malcolm
Photo by Lesli Malcolm

With an isolated incident, a community responds with calls to action and prevention

A man halted in front of a South student while he was walking down Main Street in Parkville. He asked whether he wanted a ride to his destination and the student immediately contacted police. While the man was cleared of no wrongdoing, it prompts a community to pose questions about prevention.

Sgt. Trevor Ballard of the Riverside Police Department said that it is critically important to pay particular attention to details on the person whether being ethnicity, clothing, tattoos, vehicle information, and anything else distinctive.

“If there is a good description, it is real easy to find out who it is,” said Ballard.

Paige Kennedy, senior, said that even though it is important for all students to be on guard, it is especially critical for people to look out for younger children. Kennedy continued with saying that children are vulnerable to offers from strangers and should always be protected.

“The number one most important thing to have is a buddy system and to never be alone. Number two is to always be in a well-lit area and to pay attention to your surroundings,” said Ballard.

Ballard continued by saying that people should not take rides from unknown people and that all individuals in the car are responsible for the contents in the vehicle. He stresses that best judgment should always be the top priority in any situation.

“This happens a lot more than it used to,” said Charles Bowman, security. “A long time ago, we didn’t think anything about watching children all the times. In groups, children would just go on their own, but now everyone should have someone with them.”