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Wednesday, February 6, 2013

LEXINGTON COUNTY, SC - In three weeks, the Lexington County Sheriff’s Department will conduct a Citizen Safety Awareness Program between 6 p.m. and 10 p.m. on Tuesday, February 26 at the Lexington County James R. Metts Law Enforcement Complex, 521 Gibson Road, Lexington.

Lexington County Sheriff James R. Metts said deputies will conduct the safety awareness program in order to teach citizens to be aware of their surroundings at home, at work and inside their motor vehicles. Participants will learn how to defend themselves and escape in the event that they are attacked, including how to deploy a chemical pepper aerosol spray.

The cost for the safety awareness program is $25 per person, Metts said. The $25 fee covers the cost of a safety awareness kit, which includes a chemical pepper aerosol spray that will be provided to citizens who enroll in the safety awareness program.

The safety awareness program will be limited to 25 participants, who are age 16 or older, Metts said. Lexington County residents are given preference in enrolling in the program. Citizens can register for the program by calling the Sheriff’s Department Front Desk at (803) 785-2400. The registration deadline for the class is Friday, February 22.

The $25 fee will be due when the safety awareness program is conducted, Metts said. The fee must be paid in cash or by check, with checks made payable to the Lexington County Sheriff’s Foundation. The Sheriff’s Foundation is a non-profit group that supports the mission of the Sheriff’s Department by buying equipment and paying for training that can be difficult to acquire through the governmental budget process.

Sgt. Diane Paavel, who is a crime prevention officer, will serve as an instructor for the safety awareness program, Metts said. Citizens who have questions concerning the safety awareness class can contact Paavel at her office at (803) 785-2504 or email her at dpaavel@lcsd.sc.gov.

One portion of the safety awareness class will be taught outdoors, Metts said. Participants are asked to wear comfortable clothes and athletic shoes.

Participants in the safety awareness program will receive a chemical pepper aerosol spray kit, including inert devices that they can safely practice with as well as a device that can disperse an active chemical pepper aerosol spray, Metts said. They will receive hands-on training in deploying a chemical pepper spray. The Sheriff’s Department conducts the class in cooperation with SABRE, a company that manufactures a chemical pepper aerosol spray.

“Our goal is to help citizens be smart, be ready and be alert,” Metts said.

If you, or someone you know, have any information regarding any crime, you are encouraged to contact Crimestoppers. You could earn a reward up to $1,000.

Anonymous tips can be submitted to Crimestoppers by calling 1-888-CRIME-SC.

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