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Local police share tips on how to stay safe in the dark

Laredo police are giving the community tips on how to stay safe in parks and trails now that the sun goes down at 6 o’clock.
Published: Nov. 18, 2020 at 10:15 PM CST
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LAREDO, Tex. (KGNS) - It gets pretty dark pretty early during the fall and winter days.

All you night owls who prefer to work out in the evening are probably having to adjust your routines now that the sun goes down by 6 o’clock.

That’s why Laredo police want to ensure that you all are safe while out and about, so they shared some tips with KGNS to let you know how.

Days turn into nights a lot faster now that daylights saving is over and the change could be a challenge for some people who have nighttime routines.

“I came running for the sport that I’m in.”

Jessica Contreras tells us she visits the North Central trails very often to keep up with her training.

“I come with a few friends of mine, so we can be in a group and stay safe together and we’ll come a little bit earlier so we can catch the sun.”

Whether you’re at a park or a trail, it’s important to stay safe, especially in the dark.

Jessica’s group workouts is actually highly recommended by Laredo police.

“There is safety in numbers,” said Investigator Joe Baeza. “Anybody who is looking to target anyone, especially women, will probably think twice especially if there is two people to contend with instead of just one.”

Baeza tells us it’s important for people to be aware of their surroundings, especially at night.

Over the years there have been a number of dangerous incidents at parks and trails around town that were both mild and extreme.

“The most extreme one that we have was near the Slaughter trail a couple of years ago when we did have a person who was killed while they were out there. Here as of lately, we have had some reported incidents of people acting peculiarly.”

Baeza and District 5 councilwoman Nelly Vielma encourages individuals who have run into uncomfortable situations to reach out to police.

“If you have been a victim of any of these incidents, please report,” said Vielma. “As a woman, I know it’s difficult. You might feel embarrassed, you might feel ashamed, but there is strength in unity.”

Before you head out for a walk, run, or bike ride at night make sure you are as safe as possible.

Other tips Laredo police have for those working out at night include:

- finding a well lit park or trail

- wear reflective or bright clothing

- vary your exercise routine

- walk, run, or bike facing traffic, that way no one can follow you or sneak up behind you

- and if you feel safe carrying pepper spray or a whistle, that is also highly encouraged.

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