Local law enforcement share tips on how to stay safe while running outside

“The more you’re able to take care of yourself, the less of a victim you would be”
In light of recent news, local law enforcement share tips on how to stay safe.
In light of recent news, local law enforcement share tips on how to stay safe.(Alexa Griffey)
Published: Sep. 7, 2022 at 9:26 PM EDT
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You never think it will happen to you.

In Memphis, a teacher was abducted and killed on an early morning run Friday.

When going out, safety is probably a top priority.

Staying hydrated and being aware of traffic and crosswalks are important while walking or running outdoors, but what about being aware of your surroundings?

With the recent news of the Memphis teacher Eliza Fletcher’s abduction and murder while out on a run… we’re reminded of the importance of starting safe.

We asked local police to share some tips on how people in the Mid Ohio Valley can stay safe while enjoying running and walking outside.

Local law enforcement say it’s some of the basic tips we’ve all been told … but may often forget when we decide to out on a run.

Williamstown Police Chief Shawn Graham And Vienna’s Sergeant Cole remind us to run with a partner… choose well lit and more populated areas… wear reflective clothing or use lights if it’s dark out… and to *always* be aware and thinking.

“…If you do see something you need to have a thought or an escape route type of idea. You just need to think of things ahead of time if you can. “What would I do in this situation?’ ‘What if?’ Know where you’re at and whose around and quite honestly people say you get a gut feeling sometimes, something just didn’t seem right about that guys. Something didn’t seem right. Well, that’s usually an accurate feeling, and you feel that way for a reason. So you need to listen to your gut on things like that,” explained Chief Graham.

Amy Eddy runs almost every morning before work. She tries to stay safe by running with a partner, changing her route, using a light, and leaving the headphones behind.

“Every time you hear those stories, I think it makes you more intune to try to look at what you’re doing with your routine everyday and what you can what you can do to try to keep yourself safer,” said Amy Eddy.

Even with all these precautions, Eddy says hearing stories like Eliza Fletcher’s is scary.

“… it makes all of us anxious and nervous about getting out and running by yourself in the dark whether it be morning or evening. And I think we just need to step back, look at our habits, look at what we can do to keep yourself self, do the best you can... but keep doing what you love. You don’t want to let people who intend to do bad things dictate what you do or ruin things you love doing.”

Chief Graham and Sergeant Cole said they have officers patrolling the cities at all times to help keep the streets safe and let people know they’re there.

While people may be hesitant to call the police because they might be unsure or embarrassed, both Chief Graham and Sgt. Cole emphasized the saying, if you see something… say something!

“We’d rather respond and it be nothing, than to have them second guess themselves and then something bad happen,” Sgt. Cole explained.

“It may not be a crime, it may not be anything, but that’s what you’re law enforcement is here for is to check out those kinds of things. Sometimes that is going to turn out to be something,” said Graham.

Both Chief Graham and Sgt. Cole brought up the idea of taking self defense classes. “The more you’re able to take care of yourself, the less of a victim you would be,” explained Graham.

Eddy said she doesn’t plan to stop running and will continue to be as safe as possible.