Effingham Daily News, Effingham, IL

Local News

March 22, 2013

Sheriff gives tips for staying safe

EDGEWOOD — Gun rights, drugs and protecting oneself against assailants were among the issues discussed Thursday evening in Edgewood when Effingham County Sheriff John Monnet addressed staying safe.

"What are you afraid of? Why are you here?" he asked at the beginning of the informal meeting hosted at the Edgewood Christina Dank's Center. "If we knew what traveled through Effingham on our interstates ..."

Monnet spoke of the dangers expressways can bring to small communities, such as serial killers and murderers on the lam. He even had a personal story about a Missouri murderer apprehended on his watch following a traffic stop.

Monnet also touched on staying safe when leaving dark areas at night. He gave the small crowd tips on how to use keys and other items someone carries on them as weapons if necessary.

"You don't know what's out there," he said. "We don't realize what could happen."

Monnet has stood at the entrances of Walmart and frequently observed shoppers scratching their heads, trying to remember where they parked. Some of them use the panic button on their key fob to set off the car's lights and alarm so they can locate it.

"Everyone knows where you're going," Monnet said, adding that this can make one easier to kidnap. "Remember where you parked."

He carries a kubaton on his key chain, a 4-inch stick that, should he ever need to defend himself, he could hold while swinging his keys at his attacker. He recommends the item to anyone looking to protecting themselves.

"Don't be worried about fighting fair — you're fighting for your life," he said.

An audience member asked what could be done to help today's children avoid drugs and violence. "This drug thing has gotten so out of hand," she said.

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