Police chief talks street safety at middle school

January 10, 2012 1:51:16 PM PST
San Francisco police Chief Greg Suhr met with a group of middle school students Tuesday to encourage them to stay safe on the city's streets.

Speaking to students at the Bessie Carmichael School and Filipino Education Center in the city's South of Market neighborhood, Suhr urged them to pay attention to their surroundings.

He told the students to keep their electronic devices hidden while in public, saying white iPod or iPhone earbuds draw attention from thieves who know they are connected to expensive gadgets.

Suhr also gave the students tips on what they should do if they are accosted on the street, saying it's better "to give up things instead of getting hurt," and told them to try to remember details that might help police solve the case.

Crime victims should try to remember what the suspect looks like from "bottom to top," starting with their shoes, which often have unique features, he said.

"If you start off with the shoes, you give us a good chance," Suhr said.

The chief also discussed the Police Department's Safe Haven program, in which certain businesses in neighborhoods around the city have yellow signs on their windows signifying that they have agreed to provide protection or shelter for any child who senses a threat.

Several businesses in the South of Market neighborhood that are already participating in the program were pointed out to the students, and Suhr said the city welcomes other businesses that want to participate.

Those interested in the program can call (415) 431-6266.

At the end of the event, Suhr emphasized one of his most simple tips -- the Golden Rule.

"It just makes sense for everyone to be kind to everyone else," he said.