A look back at 2013…

Sheriff Tommy Allen

December 11, 2013

As 2013 winds down, we still have a lot of the holiday season ahead of us but as we all know it will come and go like a blur with so much going on. I thought this might be a good time to look back over some of this year’s articles and make a few comments of this holiday season. Here are some of the topics I’ve addressed over this past year and hopefully many of you have taken note and are safer and better for them.

I talked about various scams people often fall for through telephone calls, email or regular mail. The bottom line here is to remember you’ll never win a contest you have never entered. A similar scam may involve tax refund checks and callers asking you information regarding that. The IRS does not call or use emails to contact taxpayers. Never give out personal or banking information over the phone or email.

I wrote about hiring contractors and paying in advance for work to be done. This is fine if you are dealing with local, licensed and bonded contractors you know and who have good track records. Always get a written contract with a firm cost and check references.

Anson County is bordered on two sides by rivers that are heavily used for boating, fishing and in some areas swimming. These are great outside activities but also present danger when safety is not a first choice. Always wear life jackets where required and never swim alone. When you go on vacation don’t post that information online on any social network. You don’t want everyone to know you are away from your home for specific periods. Computer security and identity theft should be taken seriously.

One of the most important things you can do about your personal security is to be aware of your surroundings. Where you are has a lot to do with your security. A little common sense goes a long way. During this holiday season, that is even more important as you are often out shopping, in large crowds with a lot of distractions.

October was Domestic Violence Awareness Month. It is a topic that is often hush-hushed but it crosses all socioeconomic backgrounds, races and ages. Victims of domestic violence are often hesitant to seek help but they must; and can call our local domestic violence organization at 704-694-4499 or the 24-hour crisis line at 704-690-0362.

As we round out this year and look toward next, some of the future topics I will try to address will be gangs, illegal drugs, workplace violence, social networks dangers, duties and responsibilities of the sheriff, our new 911 Operations Center and other subjects as well. If you have a particular topic please contact me and I will try to address it. I wish everyone a safe and happy holiday season.