In light of recent abductions and murders of children and young women in nearby areas, Tallassee city officials held a women’s safety course at God's Congregation Holiness Church on Saturday. The class began at noon with pizza, burgers and refreshments for a quick lunch before the class began.
Tallassee's Kimberly Fraley reached out to Mayor Johnny Hammock to request a class that would help women be better aware of their surroundings and to offer safety tips that could save lives.
Hammock and councilmember Damian Carr spoke to the audience. Both explained the upcoming work to demolish unsafe structures in the area — many in Carr's ward — will help make Tallassee a safer place for all.
Tallassee Police Department police chief Matthew Higgins offered several safety tips, especially for women.
Higgins warned single women not to put their first name on mailboxes.
"I's best to only put the last name and an initial for the first name," Higgins said.
When shopping, Higgins suggested leaving purses in a safe place and taking only a credit card and a form of identification.
"That's all you need to shop," he said. "Don't take all the unnecessary items."
Higgins warned about putting names and initials on vehicles. This makes a potential victim more identifiable by name to everyone, even the wrong ones.
When leaving a store, prepare yourself before going into the parking lot.
"Have your keys ready," Higgins said. "Don't wait until you get to your car and start fumbling through your bag to find. Have them ready before you get to the car."
Perhaps the most important topic of the class was, “If you see something, say something."
"If someone had said something in the Aniah Blanchard case, that young lady could still be alive," Carr said. "No matter how small you may think it is, if you see something, say something. It could be your loved one; it could be anyone in this room. If you see something, say something."