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Keeping Safe During The Holiday Shopping Season

By Robbie Owens, CBS 11 News
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Holiday shoppers move about in a department store. (credit: Getty Images/Chris Hondros)

Holiday shoppers move about in a department store. (credit: Getty Images/Chris Hondros)

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DALLAS (CBSDFW.COM) – We’ve all been told repeatedly to be extra cautious during the busy holiday season. Now, some Dallas companies are giving their employees refresher courses, because becoming complacent can make anyone prey to criminals.

Dallas based Dave & Buster’s has built a reputation serving up food and fun. But, on this day, the business is serious.

“Safety is a 24/7 mindset,” explained self-defense instructor Jeff McKissack.

McKissack is a self-defense instructor catering to a growing roster of corporate clients who realize that keeping customers safe is just a start.

But sometimes it’s company employees find themselves in harm’s way. “We’re all on our cell phones. I’ve been guilty of it. I’m digging in my purse as I’m leaving the mall,” Dave & Buster’s employee Jennifer Yarbrough admits her parking lot behavior. “I want them [employees] to be aware of what’s going on around them, so they can remain safe and understand we really are worried about their safety.”

To help the company and their workers, Dave & Buster’s organized a seminar for their workers. But, McKissack says the most important thing everyone should remember is, “Trust your instincts. Listen to that still small voice that will tell you when something is just not right,” he reminded.

For one employee, the advice confirmed already good practices. Jennifer Herskind had a recent experience at a local drug store. “Some guys walked in and I didn’t really feel comfortable about what they were doing,” she remembered. “My gut said ‘something they’re up to isn’t good, and you need to go’. And everything he [McKissack] said today
But, everyone agrees it’s better to be smart, than scared.

“You’re the only one who can protect you, so be on guard, be alert, be confident,” suggested Herskind. “If you’re confident you’re not the prey.”

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