Local police offer advice for ensuring personal safety in city

By Brooke Shinberg

On average, the city of DeKalb faces a violent crime every 36 hours, and there is a sexual assault every eight days.

There are a few simple things people can do to help ensure their own safety.

“I think as far as the assaults, whether it be sexual or robbery type thing, people should avoid walking late night hours or early morning hours alone,” said DeKalb County Sheriff Roger Scott. “At any time it’s always better to have a partner with you or have a cellphone charged and ready to be used.”

NIU Police Sgt. Alan Smith said to notify law enforcement is anything seems out of the ordinary.

“We encourage students to let us know if lights are out or anything looks suspicious,” Smith said.

DeKalb Police Lt. Jason Leverton said the most important way to stay safe is to pay attention.

“Well, I think the biggest thing is that people are aware of their surroundings,” Leverton said. “Just when you leave wherever you are, take a look around, look at your surroundings. We don’t want people to become easy targets because they aren’t paying attention.”

Area police departments have programs in place to help make the area safer for all.

“What we’ve been doing is assigning additional officers to areas that are busy,” Leverton said. “We are devoting as many resources as we can to those areas. We have officers on foot or on bicycles keeping an eye on things.”

Weekends can be a particularly effective time for police intervention, Leverton said.

“Very active weekend nights especially, we put as many people as we can in busy areas,” Leverton said. “Because of the police presence we probably have prevented other crimes from happening.”