Residents refuse to be victims


When it comes to personal protection, instructor Ray Beck looks at it like one getting ready to go out into winter weather.

"Refuse to be a Victim," a course taught by Beck, teaches people to add layers of protection to themselves the way one would apply layers of clothing before going out in the snow.

"It's common sense information that we could put to use every day," Beck said.

Beck, who has taught the course since 1999, said people get caught up in their everyday lives so much that sometimes they aren't aware of the "big picture."

"When you leave for work at the end of the day and you're walking out to your car, you're thinking of getting home and making dinner," Beck said. "You're not thinking about if someone might be laying in wait to mug you and take you purse or your wallet."

Beck said the three-to-four-hour safety seminar designed by the National Rifle Association provides common-sense information geared toward awareness and avoidance of becoming a crime victim.

Beck, who also teaches others to become certified instructors, said the course covers a wide variety of safety issues, such as home security, telephone security, Internet security and self-defense.

Participants learn information about car-jacking prevention strategies, self-defense-training options, and the use of devices such as pepper spray and other choices of protection.

Mary Shearer, of Colorado Northwestern Community College, took the class after her young daughter answered the door to a stranger while Shearer was in the bathtub.

"We lived on a farm and the guy looked pretty gnarly," Shearer said. "We ended up giving him some gas money but in could have accelerated into a different situation."

Shear said the class offers tips and safety strategies that men and women can choose to develop into their own safety plan.

"It's good for men or women," Shearer said. "It's good for high school students, college students, people preparing to leave the area and for your own personal safety within our area."

Beck said as a certified instructor for this program, he can help those interested in attending this seminar become more educated "in the world we live in."

"The Department of Justice has determined that three out of four women will become a victim to a violent crime sometime in their life," Beck said. "In fact a violent crime happens every 19 seconds."

The program was established in 1993 for women and was taught by women, Beck said. Then in 1997 men were allowed to attend the seminars and become certified instructors.

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