College campuses are mostly safe and peaceful places where young people grow and learn but we there are bad people out there. Awareness and preparedness are the keys to self defense. For a small investment Mace Brand pepper sprays offer piece of mind and a reliable, effective, easy to use means of self defense on campus or off.
By Eric Crawford
Eric Crawford is Mace’s vice president of global sales.
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Cal Poly students react to attack at apartment near campus
A 20-year-old woman is recovering after being attacked by a man just outside her apartment near Cal Poly, Friday morning.
According to San Luis Obispo Police, 25-year-old Derrick Moore used a stun-gun on the woman and forced her to the ground. However, she was able to fight back by stabbing Moore repeatedly with a small knife on her key chain.
Moore then ran away and police say they found him in a creek behind Sierra Vista Regional Medical Center. Police arrested him for attempted murder.
Residents of the Stan Mark Apartments, where the attack happened, are almost all Cal Poly students. Some residents told KSBY it was a shock and something they never expected to happen there.
Cal Poly is about a 10 minute walk from the apartment complex.
This weekend, as nearly 5,000 freshmen students are moving into the dorms and many returning students are coming back to town, the attack is serving as a reminder about safety and self defense.
Cal Poly senior Cat Smith and her roommates are trying to get settled into their new home at the Stan Mark Apartments. Smith was getting ready for work Friday morning when she heard what sounded like crying.
"I heard a woman crying but I didn't know what for," Smith told KSBY. "I didn't understand was going on."
Neighbors called police. When officers arrived, they say they found the woman covered in blood.
"It's crazy to think about because you never think stuff like this happens in SLO," Smith said.
San Luis Obispo Police say attacks like this are not common in this area but it is a reminder about safety.
"Being aware of your surroundings is important," Sgt. Jeff Booth told KSBY. "If somebody is following you or something looks suspicious, be aware of that."
According to police, the victim did not know Moore, but she remembers seeing him in the apartment complex twice before. One of those times, she called police but Moore was gone by the time officers arrived.
This time, police say quick thinking and self defense may have saved her life.
"She fought back and that's what stopped the attack so that's great for her to be prepared and to be able to defend herself," Sgt. Booth said.
The disturbing attack comes just before move-in weekend at Cal Poly. Vice President of Student Affairs Keith Humphrey told KSBY he wants students to be prepared for incidents like this one.
"This individual practiced some good street smarts, she did all the things we teach our students about being aware of their surroundings, paying attention to what's going on around them so that they can protect themselves," Humphrey said.
For Smith, she said the attack is a wake up call.
"I have pepper spray. I wouldn't say I'm the best about always carrying it but after hearing this, yes of course," Smith said, resolving to take some form of self defense with her from now on.
San Luis Obispo Police also recommend carrying pepper spray or mace.
Cal Poly officials will stay in touch with the residents of the Stan Mark Apartments to make sure they feel safe going into the school year.
Bail for the accused attacker, Derrick Moore, is set at $500,000 dollars.
You carry pepper spray for safety, but there are a number of situations that can result in you being unintentionally exposed to its effects. Whether a strong wind blows the spray in your direction, you have contact with a person you’ve sprayed, you’re an innocent bystander when someone else uses pepper spray or you unintentionally discharge your own pepper spray, if you come in contact with pepper spray, you need to take immediate action to decontaminate yourself.
- Get out of the contaminated area. If a can has discharged nearby, remove yourself from the area to avoid further contamination.
- Immediately apply water to the affected area. If the spray is in your eyes, flush them thoroughly with a stream of clean water. Do not rub your eyes, as doing so can intensify the effects of the spray.
- Remove contact lenses immediately. Hard lenses should be cleaned and soaked in lens solution for 24 hours before reinserting. Soft, disposable lenses should be discarded.
- Use a decontamination spray. Once you’ve thoroughly flushed the affected area with clean water, a decontamination spray can help remove the remaining spray. If you don’t have decontamination spray, alternate the application of wet and dry towels. Blot, don’t rub, to dilute and remove the pepper spray.
- Do not use lotions or creams to soothe the external area. This can trap the spray’s resins against the skin, prolonging discomfort. Shampoos and non-oil-based soaps can help to remove the last of the spray from external areas. Once you’ve washed the area, pat it dry.
- Be patient. Pepper spray is an irritant, and irritated tissue takes awhile to calm down, even after the irritant is removed. It could be up to 40 minutes before the effects subside.
Above all, take every step you can to avoid accidental contact with pepper spray. Don’t store it in a car on a hot day, and don’t put it where the can could be crushed or punctured. Even though pepper spray is nonlethal, it’s still a self-defense weapon and should be treated as such.
By Doug Melzig
Doug Melzig is Mace’s director of sales for law enforcement and international accounts.
Self-defense training is empowering and useful in a range of scenarios. But if you are like most people, you probably don’t know how to take the first step.
What level of training do you need? Where should you look for training? And how do you pick a good trainer?
Here are four things to consider before you sign up for self-defense training.
1. Choose a certified trainer
Never choose a self-defense class or instructor at random. It’s important to do your due diligence before making the decision.
Seek out a certified instructor who has a law enforcement background. Not only do law officers have proven techniques for personal defense, they have experience observing what does and doesn’t work in stressful situations. A good instructor will respect your fears and concerns and empower you to act competently and decisively – yet with proper restraint – based on the level of danger.
2. Check out the coursework
Types of self-defense classes range from martial arts training to instruction on ways to “throw” an attacker to the proper use of non-lethal pepper sprays or weapons. But defending yourself effectively is not just about your size, it’s about your intelligence and knowledge of defense tactics.
A good self-defense course covers critical thinking about defense strategies, assertiveness, effective communication skills and simple physical techniques. Don't be afraid to ask potential trainers which specific tactics and strategies they plan to cover in class.
3. Get references
In addition to doing your research to find the right course and instructor, ask people you know for recommendations based on their experience. Word of mouth is a great way to determine which training will be a good fit for your needs as well as your lifestyle.
4. Don’t put it off
It’s hard to make a case against taking a course that empowers you to be less reactive – and more proactive – in a bad situation, and that provides you with tools to defuse or thwart an attack. Yet with our busy lives it’s easy to put self-defense training off until it’s too late.
Just ask yourself: Would you rather be prepared for the worst or be left wondering after an attack if self-defense training could have changed the outcome? Doing your homework up front will help you be prepared so that you can respond effectively when you need to defend yourself.By Matt Schaefer
Matt Schaefer is the president of Tactical Defense Training Inc.
If you’re looking for a surveillance system to protect your home or business, there are many solutions to choose from in this rapidly expanding market.
While choice can be a great thing, how can you be sure you are getting the right system for your specific needs? Here are three questions to consider before making a decision.
- What do I want to keep an eye on?
- What type of camera do I need?
- What type of remote access do I want?
Most security systems employ a mix of indoor and outdoor cameras, while the exact number and type of cameras you need depends on the setup of your home or building and the areas of vulnerability you are seeking to protect. External or outdoor cameras may often be used to cover doorways, windows, back patios and driveways — essentially securing any entry point into the structure, or other high-traffic area.
Indoor cameras are always best positioned in key areas such as a lobby, foyer or door entrance, as well as covering windows or glass doors. You may also want to consider placing a camera in a child’s room for overnight safety, or in an area where valuables are stored.
Most outdoor cameras are equipped with wide-angle lenses to maximize the field of view. However, if the camera is going to be mounted on a high perch or the second floor of a building, using a camera with an adjustable lens will allow you to narrow the field of view and focus on a vulnerable or high-traffic area of your property, which may better complement your security system. For example you may want to monitor where vehicles enter and exit the property, or a back lot where illegal activity may be prevalent.
Indoor cameras typically use a wide-angle lens, which provides a great overall view, wherever they are mounted. You want to consider how cameras will blend into the décor and whether they will be mounted to the walls or ceilings. Surveillance cameras come in a wide variety of mounting styles that are relatively discreet, while others are specifically designed to intimidate and even deter any would-be intruders. Go with the installation and style the best fits your application.
Many camera systems come with features that allow you to remotely view your home or business from a tablet, Smartphone or computer from anywhere. System providers can walk you through the setup of your remote access and ensure it meets your security needs. Whether it’s general surveillance of your property or ensuring your kids returned safely home from school, there are countless ways a surveillance camera system can provide you with the peace of mind you are looking for.
Above all else, a security system is designed to make you feel safe, whatever that definition is for you and your family. Asking the right questions in advance will help ensure that you are achieving your safety goals.
Neil Riveron is the Global Product Manager for Mace. He can be reached via e-mail at [email protected]