Police Raise Awareness About Safety Tips for Women who Run and Walk

DES MOINES, Iowa -- Nearly 200 people showed up at the Des Moines Library Tuesday Night to hear recommendations from police about how to stay safe while running or walking. If you missed it, here's some of the advice.

Police stress the importance of situational awareness; being aware of your surroundings and being in tune with what's going on. Another key tip is to follow your instincts. If something creeps you out, it's probably creepy. Trust your gut, and keeping your distance is also important. Police say distance is always your friend.

Walking or running alone is not recommended, but if you do, show some confidence. It will help keep you safe.

"If you`re gonna run alone, this is where we want you to have the confidence to be out there and be alone," said Sergeant Paul Parizek, Public Information Officer for the Des Moines Police Department. "Because if you look like you`re running the show, you`re gonna run the show, and they're going to look for a more vulnerable target. How you carry yourself is gonna be a deterrent in itself."

Sgt. Parizek says it's important for walkers and runners to know what they feel comfortable with and what they don't.

"We want them to know what their limitations are and what their abilities are," said Sgt. Parizek. "Confidence is huge and as long as you have a good situational awareness and keep distance between you and any threat, you`re going to be okay."