NORTH MYRTLE BEACH, SC (WMBF) - The North Myrtle Beach Department of Public Safety wants to help residents fight back against crime.
It's all a part of the National Rifle Association's "Refuse to be a Victim" program, an award-winning crime prevention and safety seminar used nationwide.
The free four-hour seminar was held Thursday at North Myrtle Beach City Hall for teenagers and older.
Lance Cpl. William McLeod, a crime prevention officer with the NMBDPS who led the seminar, said this program is not a firearms or self-defense class. Instead, it helps people improve personal safety strategies they can apply in every area of their lives.
The program covers the following topics: mental preparedness, home security, travel security, physical security, psychology of criminals, automotive security, cyber security, and personal protection.
McLeod stressed the importance of being aware in all aspects of life, adding that in this digital age, safety online applies to almost everyone, especially teens.
"It's something that even teens obviously living in the social society that we do, they're constantly on cellphones, they're constantly in the digital world, up to you know. You can be 100 and might not be more keen to the sense of the cyber side. But we talk about home security, we talk about that personal security. Where it used to, you know older people used to keep their doors unlocked and so forth, and in today's world it's hard to do that. So, we train them how to properly handle situations like that," said McLeod.
A key topic discussed during the seminar is people being aware of their surroundings when in public, like when leaving a store.
McLeod said many people are glued to their phones without paying attention to their surroundings. This makes it easier for them to fall victim to a potentially dangerous situation.
According to McLeod, it really empowers people to know that there are ways they can prepare themselves to avoid becoming a victim.
Another Refuse to be a Victim seminar is set for some time in October at North Myrtle Beach City Hall. An official date has not yet been set.