Ottawa County Police Officers Teach Kids Stranger Danger Doesn't - KOAM TV 7

Ottawa County Police Officers Teach Kids Stranger Danger Doesn't Go Far Enough


Kids in Northeastern Oklahoma are learning that "Stranger Danger" doesn't go far enough. After a couple of high-profile abductions in the area, police officers across Ottawa County Oklahoma are making sure kids are equipped with tricks to get out of dangerous situations. And today the officers went to Alexander Elementary in Commerce to teach kids more about "Safe Escape."

If you ask kids like Jillian, Marisa or Sophia they'll tell you all about the term Stranger Danger.

"If they say, 'oh I've lost my puppy' or something you shouldn't follow them because they might lead you into their house and you might not see anybody ever again," said Alexander Elementary 5th Grader Jillian Swadley.
"If there is someone they don't know, and that they are saying come over here know that they aren't supposed to go over there because it's dangerous," said Marisa Scott, also a 5th grader at Alexander.  

But with the recent abduction and murder of ten year old Hailey Ownes in Springfield, Missouri police officers in Ottawa County, Oklahoma say they wanted to go one step further and start teaching kids tricks to help them get away.  

"It hits pretty close to home." 

David Sergeant is from the Eastern Shawnee Tribal Police and is one of several officers visiting every Elementary School in the County this month. Teaching kids to stay safe through tricks like clinging to another adult until help arrives.
"If we can help one of them, I mean, if one kid tries to get abducted, and they was able to get out of it, then I think we accomplished the task, which is basically give them the defense they need to get out," Sergeant said.

Another technique that these officers are teaching the kids is something called the "windmill technique," and if any stranger is holding on to their arm and they just swing in a windmill fashion away from the thumb, and they will be able to break free.

"It's a technique they can use when someone is trying to break away from someone who is trying to grab a hold of you," Sergeant said.

And for Jillian, Marisa and Sophia. They say they already knew talking to strangers was a no-no. But that learning these tricks will help them get out of situations they didn't want to get into in the first place.
"If someone calls your name, or if someone tries to grab you, just walk away, try one of the moves if you need to, and just try and get to an adult you know and just do the best you can do," said 5th grader Sophia Peuitt.
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