Protecting Yourself When Dealing with the Public

As a police officer, you may come into contact with members of the public on a daily basis. When dealing with people that are friendly and cooperative, it is easy to get caught up in conversations. No matter how comfortable you feel, there are some details that you should avoid revealing, or you may end up with a privacy violation on your hands.

Information about your family – while you may be tempted to relate to a victim by talking about your children, be careful how much you share. Never reveal which school your kids go to, their full names, or their ages. These personal details could put your children at risk. The same rules apply when talking about spouses or other close family members.

Details about where you spend your time – while it might seem innocent enough to mention your favorite restaurant, or the gym you prefer to work out at during your off hours, these are details that could be used against you. You do not want people to start showing up at your usual haunts, especially not if they have bad intentions.

Telling people about your home – even if you don’t reveal your address, mentioning a neighborhood and giving information about your home’s appearance can allow people to put two and two together. You might think that mentioning that your driveway was just paved, if it comes up in conversation is not harmful, but someone can figure out where you live just by looking for homes in the area that are recently paved.

In many cases, the above information might just come out during natural conversation with someone you’ve encountered on control. Stop and think about how it could be used against you if the situation were to go wrong before you reveal too much!

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