Yesterday morning I woke up SUPER early to do laundry, you might have seen my check-in on foursquare. I wanted to have enough time to get it done and still make it home in time to change and do my makeup before work. I was running on time and was about to take the right turn onto my street when my niece caught my eye. She was crossing and walking on a route that was not her usual. Being the overprotective Godmother and Titi that I am, I switched into detective mode. I drove past her and circled the block. I wanted to creep up behind her so I pulled over quickly to ring her dad. He confirmed my suspicions and I followed her to all the way to her friend’s house.
As she reached the house I alerted her to my presence. I wanted to get out of the car and scream at her. Weeks prior I had a conversation with her about the importance of letting us know where she was going. We like our kids to have a bit of freedom, especially when they hit their teens, but the sad reality is we do not live in a safe world. How do we keep our children safe?
Last night I explained to her that I was not trying to get her into trouble and asked that she explain to me why I followed her and told her parents. She understood she was doing something she was not supposed to be doing. I posed the question, ‘If a white van came and snatched you up, the cops would be looking in the wrong place, right?” I brought up little Bianca Lebron, the ten year old girl who went missing in 2001, not far from where we live. Later on that evening I received the amber alert on my phone for a White Town & Country Minivan that was believed to be the vehicle used by the grandmother who picked up her two grandchildren from daycare and went missing. This morning we learned of the fate of those poor Perry souls.
Being taken by someone you do not know OR do know is a reality AND can happen to anyone. Add to this worry the potential shooting/killing of a child or loved one, that seems to plague the streets of Bridgeport. It wasn’t always like that. My mom has told me stories of being able to lounge and fall asleep at Seaside Park and have no worries of anything happening to you. My friends and I, in middle school, would walk from our houses to the corner store without worrying about something happening to us. Times continue to change and I worry about how we can keep our family safe.
|Daniel & I on vacation in Puerto Rico|
Daniel, who is a grown man, checks in with me when he gets to his destination and again when he gets home. I do the same. It is important to know that our loved ones are safe. Daniel told me about how his friend keeps an eye on his kids with the built in gps feature on their phones. While it is a great comfort to know where your loved ones are, does this still ensure that they are safe?
|A preview of the #StreetSafe App on my #Galaxy S III|
I cannot very well be with my loved ones around the clock, but a company called StreetSafe has created an app that might just ease my fears. “StreetSafe is a one-of-a-kind mobile personal security service.” It’s available on Android, Windows 7, Iphone and Blackberry phones. The app on the phone has a simple and easy to follow GUI (Graphical User Interface) making it appropriate for ages thirteen and up.There are two options.
- If you feel that you are in danger you slide the green arrow to the right.
- You are connected to a Safety Advisor
- Your exact location is known because of the GPS feature on your phone
- The Safety Advisor stays with you until you get to your destination.
- If something does happen they can call your local 911 Operator to have help on the way.
- If you know you are in danger, you slide the red arrow to the right.
- Activates a SILENT alarm.
- An IMMEDIATE call is placed to your local 911 center with your location.
- If you are moved from your location the GPS on the phone will notify StreetSafe and the authorities will be updated on your movements.
- A full description is given to the authorities, including height, weight, eye color, photo and race.
|Walk With Me|
|Red Button Service|
We often carry our phones with us and chat as we’re walking so I think this APP will not draw any additional attention to you. It is comforting to know that something like this exists. I checked the fine print to see if there was any restrictions on age and found that there was. Item number 35 states: “Minimum Age. You agree to not use StreetSafe™ service if you are under the age of 13.” Lucky for me my niece just turned 13.
What do you have in place that gives you peace of mind that your family is safe? If StreetSafe™ sounds like something you’d like to try out, My Pocketful of Thoughts Readers can get 10% off with coupon code TENOFF!