Florence Police urge parents to help teach kids about “Stranger Danger”

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FLORENCE, Ala. (WHNT) – With summer break for schools just around the corner, Florence Police want to take the opportunity to remind parents to have an important safety talk with their kids.

In a couple of weeks, the school hallways will empty for the summer.  Students will be giving up school books for bikes and hanging out with friends. But they need to be aware of their surroundings.

“They can be any person, they can be anywhere,” said Investigator Drew Harless with the Florence Police Department. “Unfortunately that’s what they do, they prey on children.”

School Resource Officers talk to kids about “stranger danger” a lot during the school year. Those talks seem to be paying off.  Investigator Harless said two recent incidents could have gone bad in a matter of seconds.

“We were fortunate I guess. We had some courageous kids and some smart parents that did the right thing,” said Harless.

In the most recent case, a man drove up to a group of girls right in front of the mother. She chased him off, but not before getting a description of the man’s vehicle.

But parents aren’t always around.

“Encourage your kids, if they have to, make a scene,” Harless explained. “If they feel uncomfortable and a stranger they don’t know comes up to them, scream and go to the first adult they can find and tell them what’s happened.”

Harless also encourages parents to have a way for kids to call for help.

Police say to make sure your kids know to never get in the car with a stranger, even if the person tells them they know their parents. Also, explain to your children, if they feel uncomfortable in a situation to call police immediately.

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