[Reprinted from The Richmond Police Station Newsletter of October 2, 2014. To be added to the station's mailing list, email email@example.com.]
It’s a scenario that happens hundreds of times a day at amusement parks all across the world. You’re walking along with your family or group, young child in hand, but when you look down a minute later, alas, he or she is gone! You suspect they’ve run off into the large crowd and begin to panic.
How to avoid the panic.
Before you go, explain to your children what they should do if they get separated at any time from you or their guardians.
Tell them to find a uniformed park employee and explain to them that they have been parted from their group. Make it clear that it is NOT okay to ask or follow strangers for help, even if they do look friendly. Have them explain to the employee (or security officer) their name, your names and where they got lost.
Write your mobile phone number on a sticker and fix it to the inside of their shirt. If you don’t have a sticker, write it on paper and put it in their pocket. Tell them to give it to a uniformed staff member if they get lost.
Use your camera or cell phone and take a picture of your children when you arrive at the park. This way you will have a current picture with you.
Make sure everyone in your group, including parents and older siblings, are wearing the same bright, recognizable clothing. Bold orange or yellow shirts will work fine for this purpose. Avoid wearing dark colors as these will make you and your children blend in easily with the crowd, and avoid putting your child’s name on it. This will make it easy for strangers to call them out and take your child with them.
Bring along a way to communicate with your kids. You can give older siblings a cell phone (just make sure they know your number). Younger kids can benefit from the use of a walkie-talkie to keep in touch with you should they get lost. Show them how to use it and explain that it is not a toy, but a way to reunite if you do get separated.
Find a place to designate as your ‘meeting spot’ if someone from the group is separated, once you arrive at the amusement park. Crowded, commonly designated areas like the front gates of the park or at a bench next to a popular attraction are not good meeting spaces as they will be very crowded at all times of the day and relatively unsafe for a young child to be sitting at alone. Instead, choose a less popular area to meet up, like at the security booth or next to the restaurant where you plan to eat. This will make it easier to find a lost child.
Remember to stay together at all times. You probably won’t mind letting older kids go off on their own for a while (as long as they keep in touch via cell phone), but younger children should hold your hand and stay with you as you walk through the park. Keep a firm grip to prevent your child from slipping away. In especially large, crowded events, it might be better to safely fasten your child in a stroller or carrier instead of allowing them to walk, lessening the chances of being separated.
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NOTEWORTHY ARRESTS & INCIDENTS
On10/02/2014, at 12:09 pm, Officers on patrol in the area of Chain of Lakes in Golden Gate Park observed a male know to them as having an active felony warrant. The male was taken into custody without incident.
On 10/02/2014, at 1:27 pm, Officers on patrol in the area of Sutter and Pierce St. observed a vehicle with expired registration. The officers contacted the driver who stated that his wife neglected to take care of registration and he was unaware it was out of date. A computer check revealed that the driver’s license had also expired in January. This time the driver did not blame his wife and was cited for the registration and driving on the expired license.
On 10/02/2014, at 11:14 pm, Officers on patrol in the area of Steiner and Geary Boulevard observed two males in what appeared to a narcotics “hand to hand” transaction. The officers contacted the males and were able to determine that one of the males had two outstanding warrants for his arrest. The male was later booked at the county jail on the warrants.
On 10/03/2014, at about 4:00 pm, Officers were advised by security at the Hardly Strictly Bluegrass Festival that there were two males selling “Hits” balloons filled with “Nitrous Oxide.” When officers arrived in the area they were unable to locate the males but did recover two backpacks filled with balloons and “Nitrous” canisters. The officers seized the bags to later book at the station for safekeeping. While starting the found property report another group of officers were contacted by a male who reported that his back packs had been stolen. When the male was reunited with his property (which he identified immediately) he was cited for the violations. All the recovered property was booked as property for safekeeping.
On 10/04/2014, at 8:45 pm, Officers on patrol in the area of 3rd and Cornwall St. observed a vehicle making an unsafe turn. The officers contacted the driver and were able to identify him via his passport. A computer query revealed that the driver was suspended and revoked from driving for prior violations. The driver was cited at the scene.
On 10/04/2014, at 11:00 pm, Officers responded to a report of a vehicle driving in an unsafe and erratic manner in the area of Balboa and Funston St. Officers were able to contact the driver found the driver appeared to be driving under the influence. The officers initiated a DUI investigation which resulted in the arrest of the driver. The driver was later booked at the county jail.
On 10/06/2014, at 1:50 am, Officers on patrol in the area of the 4600 block of Geary Blvd observed a male in a parked four door sedan acting in a suspicious manner. A computer check on the vehicle revealed that it was reported stolen out of Pacifica. As the officers approached the vehicle, the driver exited and attempted to walk away. The officers detained the suspect without incident and recovered various burglary tools in the vehicle. The male was booked at county on multiple felony charges.
On 10/06/2014, at 10:07 am, Officers on patrol in the area of Park Presidio and Funston St. observed a vehicle driving 20 mph over the speed limit. The officers contacted the driver regarding the violation and discovered they did not have a current license. The license had expired and the driver had failed to renew it. The driver was cited for speed and driving on an expired license.
On 10/06/2014, at 3:06 pm, a male responded to Richmond Station to make a report of an aggravated assault in the area of 10th and Geary. The male stated he was working construction that day and while being driven home he was being yelled at by the owner of the company. The victim stated that he feared for his safety and asked to be dropped off on the side walk. After exiting the vehicle the victim stated the driver threw a metal level which narrowly missed him. The victim did not sustain any injury during this incident and the investigation continues.
On 10/06/2014, at 5:30 pm, Officers responded to a report of a male assaulting a female. As the officers attempted to control the situation, the male subject started to physically assault the officers at the scene. As the struggle continued the suspect bit into the left leg of one of the officers creating a sizable open wound. The suspect was eventually subdued, but not before injuring 4 officers and the initial victim in this call. One officer was transported to the California Pacific Medical Center for further treatment on their leg and is still currently unable to work due to the injury. The suspect was transported and booked at the county jail after medical evaluation.
On 10/08/2014, at 5:55 pm, Officers on patrol in the area observed a white crown Victoria with a mechanical violation. The officer’s initiated a traffic stop and contacted the driver. A computer check revealed that the driver was never issued a California drivers license. The officers cited the driver for multiple violations.
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