SC police give lesson to stay safe around strangers - KTIV News 4 Sioux City IA: News, Weather and Sports

SC police give lesson to stay safe around strangers

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"It's a tricky topic to cover with kids because not all strangers are bad. You can't tell by looking at someone who's bad and who's good," said Sioux City police officer Chad Sheehan. "It's a tricky topic to cover with kids because not all strangers are bad. You can't tell by looking at someone who's bad and who's good," said Sioux City police officer Chad Sheehan.
SIOUX CITY, Iowa (KTIV) -

As a young child, the world can often be strange or intimidating. Who's good or bad? How do you know?

Sioux City police officer Chad Sheehan makes it his life's work to protect people. As a father of five, he says it's especially important for kids to stay safe around strangers.

"It's a tricky topic to cover with kids because not all strangers are bad. You can't tell by looking at someone who's bad and who's good," said Sheehan.

This workshop built on the theme of stranger danger from the Women's Power Lunch on April 24, when Elizabeth Smart shared her story of being abducted as a 14 year old.

"If she would have went with her instincts, and fought back then and there, she probably wouldn't have ended up in the situation she did," said Heather Hennings, president of the United Way Siouxland. 

Sheehan told the kids it's not only okay to resist, it can be essential, if it means you're going to stay safe.

"Yell, scream, holler, create as much of a scene as you possibly can, including fighting and resisting, to not be taken by someone you don't know," said Sheehan.

Sheehan says when in doubt, it's best for kids to avoid any contact with strangers. Then go tell a trusted adult or authority figure, like a police officer what happened.

"You need to follow your instincts. You need to teach your kids to follow their instincts. It's okay to say no to someone if you don't feel comfortable saying yes," said Hennings.

Sheehan went over different scenarios with the kids and taught them lessons like how to make emergency phone calls, in case danger was near.

"They sat there and were pretty riveted and liked to scream no when he asked them what they would do if a stranger approached them," said Mark Sturgeon, a grandparent from Le Mars, Iowa.  

And with their new knowledge, both parents and kids can feel a little more confident when they're out in the world.

If you'd like to learn more about how you can talk to your kids about how to deal with strangers and other dangerous situations, we've created a link.

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