Schools, police and parents work to keep kids safe from predators


Each day the bell rings and hundreds of kids head out the door, many of which walk to and from school.  Just a couple of weeks ago, a 13-year-old girl was approached by a man on a corner, just a block away from two schools in the Robbinsdale area. He asked her if she wanted a ride. What she did next may have helped her avoid a very dangerous situation.  "This young lady did exactly the right thing. she said no and then quickly walked home," Liaison Officer Ryan Phillips said. The next day Officer Phillips alerted school administrators in the area who intern notified kids and parents.

Parent and South Middle School teacher Becky Baker says between this incident, the abduction and murder of Jessica Ridgeway and kidnapping of the Cody, Wyoming girl, she's felt the need to have a conversation with her students and her own children. When talking to her daughter she said, "You go into the scenarios of ya know ... you're a really helpful kind of a child and you know you want to help people but what are some things that people might do to trick you?"

An important conversation, but Phillips says it's not enough to tell your kids not to talk to strangers, they need to know what to do. "It's always a good idea to have your kids walk in groups or pairs," Phillips said. "Lots of kids have cell phones - call an adult and let them know immediately what is happening," he continued.

It's these small acts that could very well keep your kids safe and aide police in getting dangerous predators, like the alleged Jessica Ridgeway killer, off the streets.

Rapid City Police have no further information regarding the incident near South Middle School a few weeks ago. The girl describes the man as white with a long black pony tail and a long black goatee.

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Rapid City, SD 57701

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Fax: 605.342.7305

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