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Apr 09

Vigilance: The RULE vs the Exception

My family and I are living through a serious situation, something which truly brings to bear all of the skills we have and highlights those we need to improve upon.  The short story is this: we have good reason to believe my daughter and possibly wife have a legitimate stalker, someone who has sought them out more than once and has also mentioned (to multiple 3rd parties) trying to find out where they live – and what he would do if he could “get his hands on them.”  Because this situation is still ongoing I won’t get into specifics and truth be told I even debated sharing this altogether, but I figured everyone could learn from what we are going through and hopefully our case solidifies just how crazy this world is.  It truly is a place where we must remain vigilant and cannot afford to go through life oblivious to reality.

I must clarify once again that the investigation is ongoing and hopefully this turns out to be nothing, if that is the case we will still have benefited from the exercise and walked away with lessons learned.  If indeed this proves to be worse than we thought I suppose having all of the pieces in place just helps to keep them safer and provides more information for the authorities.

The father and husband in me wanted to seek this individual out and confront him face to face, give him a stern warning that he stop discussing my family while including a note like: “If I ever see you around my home there would be some serious problems.”  Yet I didn’t take that route, but instead went to the authorities and documented the issue and my concerns.  This isn’t exactly TEOTWAWKI or WROL so going all vigilante on some dude would probably only serve to get me in trouble.  Now I must clarify, if I caught this person in the act or at my home action would be taken on my part and it would be swift.  Yet we have not arrived at that point yet, nor do I hope it ever comes to that.

After making sure that the authorities were aware of the situation it was time to address some common sense items with my family so that we were all on the same page with respect to remaining vigilant.  I should note that I received valuable information (advice) from a great resource, if you are reading this you know who you are and I thank you.  Some of the items we discussed were:

Commo Plan:  Basically making sure all of us were aware of each other’s movements.  A simple text message works, “I’m leaving work” or “I’ve arrived at my destination” works fine.  This helps set expectations for movements and arrival times.

Situational Awareness:  We’ve been through this many times, but it basically boils down to paying attention and looking for things which might be considered out of the ordinary.

Alternating Routes:  Not bring predictable with routes to and from work, or even times which we leave our home/destination.  Mixing it up as much as we can without impacting our overall routine.

Alone = Bad:  This especially goes for my daughter since she is not old enough to carry a handgun.  She knows that she needs to be with friends, needs to walk to her car after work with someone, shouldn’t be stopping at unfamiliar places alone etc.

Parking:  Whether at work or simply going out, we must avoid using patterns.  No parking near places which obstruct views or facilitate being boxed in.

Egress routes:  What if something happens while at work / school / shopping / pulling into the driveway?  We pulled maps out and discussed these options as well.

Action Plans:  We’ve put in place action plans in case we think we are being followed, the house is being watched or if a confrontation occurs.  Obviously I won’t list out the details of our plan(s) but this isn’t spy vs spy stuff, it’s really common sense stuff which emphasizes safety.  While you might think this is over the top I can tell you that I’m about 95% certain we had an incident where we were being followed earlier in the week.

There is more but I think you get the idea.  Again I hope this blows over and turns out to be nothing but I’d rather be safe than sorry.  How many times on the news have we seen sobbing parents or relatives after someone has gone missing or even been killed?  They inevitably question how something like that could have happened in their neighborhood, how they never saw it coming etc etc.  This world is full of terrible people, we must remain vigilant and refuse to become victims.

 

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13 comments

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  1. Francis

    I wish you all the strenght you and your family need in this situation.
    Take care!

    1. PJ

      Thanks much Francis!

  2. J

    PJ,

    Pepper Spray for your kid. Am assuming she is old enough and responsible enough to understand how to use it and I can assure you that is an effective deterrent.

    I also have a daughter and can fully empathize with you on this. One other thing I have ingrained in her is the “run and shout” strategy. She is not strong enough to deal with a full grown attacker, so I have been working with her on escape and evade tactics, which end with running and screaming her lungs out for help.

    Hopefully, this will get resolved with no fuss for you. In your place, I would be feeling distinctly “Old Testament” towards this person.

    1. PJ

      J-

      She has a couple options when it comes to pepper spray, and obviously the plan is not to stand and fight but if it comes down to it pepper spray is better than nothing at all. I hope the entire thing blows over and turns out to be some dude who was talking out of his a– and just needs a reality check, time will tell. Thanks for the note though.

  3. Brian Claymore

    In my business 90% of the time your gut feeling is correct,having done security ops on three continents (watch your six) with you in spirit,wish I could phsicaly.

    1. PJ

      Thanks for the comment Brian. Gut instinct has taught me to be over cautious sometimes but I suppose it’s better to err on the side of safety especially when considering family.

  4. Brandon

    Holy crap, PJ! That’s horrible! I hope it does turn out to be nothing, but I’m glad that you contacted the authorities, and that you’re taking a lot of precautions.

    It sounds like, if there are witnesses to the guy saying what he would do if he could ever “get his hands on them,” then that should be enough for the police to do something.

    You and your family stay safe!

    1. PJ

      Brandon

      Hopefully the po-po will come up with something and I’ll have some good news to report here soon.

  5. Ed

    Be careful and alert. We went through a stalking episode once. The police and the states attorney did nothing even after we gave them proof. They got involved and wanted our help when the person committed a crime against someone else. He was caught and convicted . Lots of stress and sleepless nights . Stay vigilant.

    1. PJ

      Thanks for the tips Ed and I’m sorry you and your family had to go through that experience. Why were the police slow to act if I might ask? In any event I’m glad you all came out unscathed.

  6. Jeane

    Sure hope this will not turn into a more dangerous incident for your family. However, I don’t think you are over the top at all. We cannot take too many precautions and our gut telling us something is wrong is correct far more often than it’s incorrect. God bless your family.

  7. ClarityJane

    I am very sorry to hear this is happening to your family, PJ. I hope that the authorities act on the information you give them as perhaps a ‘little word’ from the police will give him a scare and snap him out of his behaviour. There’s a possibility (especially if he’s young) that he doesn’t realise what a total idiot he’s being and a little reality check will suffice.

    However, you’re absolutely right to err on the side of caution. These days there seems to be an increase in the number of people with little knowledge of what is acceptable behaviour.

    I’ll keep you all in my prayers.

  8. Kathy

    From personal experience – if they are being followed in a vehicle drive to closest law enforcement office. After being followed for several miles, they followed me all the way into Police lot before realizing where they were and hastily sped away. They should at least have pepper spray, if not armed.

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