Police Rapport: Running safety for women

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BENTONVILLE, Ark. (KNWA) — Beth Lunde of Bentonville is an avid runner who takes to the streets or trails two to three times a week. Like it is for her, running is a hobby for many people. However, that hobby can prove dangerous for women.

Time and time again across the country, we’ve seen cases of females being victimized while out running.

“Someone just looks at you the wrong way or you just kind of get that gut feeling that something isn’t right and I definitely have felt that a couple of times,” says Lunde.

Lunde tries to run in the daylight and in groups just as police recommend, but what if those aren’t an option for you? Sgt. Gene Page gives us a rundown on how to best protect ourselves.

“We haven’t seen a lot of that here in Northwest Arkansas but this is the right time for us to prepare for something like that and make sure we don’t become a victim,” says Sgt. Page.

Topping the list of precautions Sgt. Page recommends is to tell someone where you will run and how long you expect to be out.

“There’s technology out there that we can use, simple apps that we can put on our devices that help keep track of us as we’re running,” says Sgt. Page. “We take the time. Let family or friend know where we’re going to be at and use technology to supplement that. With both of those things going for you, they’re really going to reduce the chance of being victimized.”

Something we don’t often think about, that police want you to be mindful about, is posture when we’re out running or even walking a trail.

“Posture is key. What it does is send a signal that you’re confident, you’re alert and you’re watching. Also, eye contact. That lets the other person know that you see them and that you can identify them if you had to later,” says Sgt. Page.

Music pumps us up for a good run but earbuds could work against us.

“Here’s something I want you to think about. Instead of using both, why not just use one. That gives you that extra ear to hear someone coming up behind you or also if you’re going to use both, keep the volume down, maybe at the level where you can actually hear your feet hitting the ground, that’s ideal,” says Sgt. Page.

Sgt. Page tells us there’s one last thing to remember, and that’s to be unpredictable by breaking up your routine and changing your routes because predators will pay attention to your patterns and plan their attack.

Several police departments offer Women’s self-defense courses including the Bentonville Police Department and the Rogers Police Department.

If you would like Jennifer and Gene to cover a specific topic in Police Rapport, email Jennifer at jpenate@knwa.com.

Copyright 2019 Nexstar Broadcasting, Inc. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.

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