What are the top three things you need for ultimate safety? Victoria Wieck sits with Corey Jones, the Principal Owner of Safetyman Consulting. The first is awareness. If you’re going somewhere, make sure you know how to get there. Decide your parking place and figure out if it’s a safe place. The next one is avoidance. Avoid bad areas and bad behavior. Don’t walk around with your head bent on your phone. You can do that later in a safer place. Join the conversation to discover more valuable ways to avoid dangerous situations.
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What You Need For Ultimate Safety With Corey Jones
This is a very different kind of episode and it has to do with your safety, which is what we’re talking about that’s important. I’ve got somebody who’s got an extraordinary background in this. My guest Corey Jones was with law enforcement for 25 years. Everything from SWAT team to community policing, supervising, internal affairs, you name it, he’s done everything.
He understands how every party feels, how things work like in the police department, how they should interact with communities and how we can all feel safe. He’s a very interesting person and as his way of paying back, he’s got a couple of community service-type things. He’s got a TV show hosted by RadioVision Network called Be Ready with Safetyman and The Corey Jones Show. He’s also got two different podcasts to help you understand how you can keep your family safe and also do your part in your community as well. Welcome to the show, Corey,
Thank you so much, Victoria. I appreciate you welcoming me on. Hopefully, we’ll have a great talk.
When I look at your resume and bio, it’s scary all the things you’ve gone through and done. We see words like lethal weapons and things like the SWAT team. Thank God I’ve not had to interact with one in an interactive situation but you have done everything from diffusing a little thing around the community to some of the most lethal events.
I’m looking forward to this conversation about how we can feel safe. That’s a vague word, meaning that some people have different tolerances. How can we keep our employees and businesses safe? What do you think is the biggest problem out there in your last years of experience? What do you think are the top three things that people should be aware of to keep themselves safe? Why is the word safety such an elusive word?
In the first word, you hit the nail right on the head. I was on the news, NBC local to Philadelphia, speaking about the rising carjackings. It’s happening in a lot of big cities across America starting in 2020. Even in 2022, there are still, unfortunately, setting records that no one’s proud of for the amount of carjacking, some of which are fatal.
My message to everybody who’s potentially involved in a carjacking is the three A’s. The first one would be Awareness. I’m going to pretend to you that I’m training a secret service agent and I’ve had some training with the secret service. Some dignitaries come to my town is that situational awareness. Whenever you see a secret service person, their head is on a swivel. They’re looking around.
That second A is going to be Avoidance. Let’s avoid bad areas and negative behavior. Let’s not be walking around in transitional spaces or that area from our office to our car or when we’re at a red light or a stop sign, when our head is buried in our cell phones, trying to update that Facebook or return that cell message that can wait for a safe place.
When you travel, do pre-operational surveillance.
The last A is going to be Action. We want to have a plan that we already talked about on what action is going to be. What am I going to surrender? Am I going to escape the X, get off the X and drive away quickly? Am I going to fight for the lives of the people that are in my car, including my own, my kids, my significant other or some other person that’s in the car? Those three A’s are the three things that I want everybody to take with them, man, woman, at home, at work, anyplace.
I didn’t think about it in this very analytical way. I’m a female business owner and have traveled 4 million miles on flights. I’ve been to countries where bombs were flying over. When you’re traveling, you don’t know those things are happening while you’re in the air. I remember I was flying into Abu Dhabi and unbeknownst to me, I took a flight from Hong Kong to Bahrain. That’s how I got to up Abu Dhabi.
There was a bombing by US Forces in Lebanon and it was all over the place. You don’t sometimes know the situation that you’re going to get into. When I travel and book my flight, as well as my hotels, I always go online to see how well it is lit. How far is it from the parking? Is it underground parking to the front door? I look at all the reviews to see. I’ll do what I can. When I get there and it’s late at night, I would go to the front desk and say, “I feel a little bit uncomfortable parking my car over there and walking by myself at midnight. Would it be okay if I left my car here?” Most of the hotels will let you do that.
With your idea of awareness, doing your research, avoiding potential problems, being aware of that and avoiding all the things you could do ahead of time, bad things could still happen to you but you got to do your part. The part I don’t understand is action. How do you know when you surrender or fight? That’s fearful if you think about somebody coming after you and they’ve got a weapon or I’m looking at somebody a lot larger than me who’s got bad intentions. How do you know if you’re safer to surrender or you’re better off trying to fight for something? If you do fight, what do you fight with?
I want to commend you first off. You’re teaching my class for me that I teach people when I go places. It’s fantastic that when you travel, you do some pre-operational surveillance and that situational awareness. You know where you’re going to be, how to get from the airport to your hotel or your place of work and where you’re going to park. You found something that made you feel unsafe, so you want to avoid that. You then took action by going and speaking to the front desk to get your car parked in a safer place so you could do that. Secondarily, you can have somebody walk you to your car or watch you walk to your car to make sure you’re safe.
To your specific question of how do you know what action to take, you want to know what your skill level and line are. Everybody has a line of what they’re going to allow somebody to do to them before they decide to fight. If you’re by yourself, that line may be one place. If you’re with a significant other, that line may be another place. If you’re with children, that line maybe even in third place.
You have to come to terms personally with yourself like, “If I take action, I’m going to fight 100%.” I recommend that everybody go to a few self-defense classes. In most areas, there are self-defense classes that are offered where it’s women-only, so you don’t have to have that awkwardness of having a hot, sweaty male that you never met laying on top of you. It’s that exposure of what that feels like, some of the techniques that are going to tell you how to defeat a hair pull, a wrist grab, a purse grab and so forth.
I teach my clients to try to surrender verbally. Put your hands in a neutral but protective position. “I’m going to cooperate and give you what you want. Do you want my wallet or purse? Here it is.” Throw it far away. If they go after the money, the purse, the cell phone or the item, the watch, the jewelry that you threw, you run the other way. If they’re chasing you, it’s no longer a property comp crime. It becomes a personal crime. We’re going to have to fight. Attack the eyes through the groin and eliminate the ability to see, breathe and stand.
Follow what Corey is saying. Also, I want to say that before you even do that, check out his two podcasts. One is called Safetyman Consulting Podcast and the other one is called Safetyman Podcast. I’ll tell you why this is important. Safety is a continuum thing. You can never be safe enough. For example, I was robbed here at my home. I live in an incredibly safe area. If you look at the safety rating by the government, it’s the number 2 or 3 safest place in the United States. That’s why I came here. Most of my neighbors don’t even lock their doors. It’s pretty rural where I live, so it’s hard for people to get out of here.
I’ve lived here since 2004 and felt safe but I’ve got a husband who’s a real paranoid person when it comes to his family’s safety. We have security cameras and an alarm system that is a motion detector. We have community policing here. We have a very active patrol service. The headquarters for that is two minutes flat from my home. You would think that you feel safe and I felt pretty safe but he would always lock all the doors and turn the alarm when we leave. We did that day.
My mother-in-law had passed away and all of us were out. We had a remodel going on, so we’re still trying to figure out who’s who here but when the motion detector company called and told us there’s a security breach and we got an alarm that went off, we were on the block. Our house is on a street that only runs one block.
It was pitch-black about 9:00 at night. I told the guy that it was probably a false alarm because the motion detector was set pretty high and we were on our block. I said, “Let’s go back home and see what’s there.” Our home has a private gate. It opens slowly, so if somebody is driving away, you could see it because I’m on this block here.
When I got home, I still didn’t see anything. The gate was closed. The gate picks a full 45 seconds or so to open and then it’s a long driveway. What happened was we entered the house. My dog is going crazy and it looks like the people who robbed our house were still in the backyard. I didn’t know it at the time. The community police had already gotten here because my neighbors had already called them and everything was going off. We all got here at the same time, within two minutes.
The sheriff’s department, as well as the patrol, said that the robbers know that once the alarm goes off, they have a full two minutes before they have to get out. When the alarm goes off, they first called the landline and then the cell phone line. It takes anybody two minutes to get there. They know that they have somewhere between 2 to 5 minutes while they have to get out and they took exactly 3 minutes to get out. They were probably still in the backyard because of the way that my dog was behaving.
The only thing I can say is I took all the precautions but my feeling right at that time was, “Are they still in the house?” Secondly, I’m glad that they didn’t come after us with bodily harm. What I’m saying is that if you feel like you’re safe because you live in a safe area and crime is not a huge concern, it could hit you from everywhere. You should probably listen to a podcast and a radio show. It’s free. Safety is real. It only takes one incident.
The good news about this is my house is almost all glass, a very California home. It’s all tempered-proof glass, so they had to take it with a crowbar and take the glass piece by piece to be able to put their hand through. They left some blood drops, so we’re able to get the DNA. I don’t know what’s going to happen. They told us that we were the eighth home that they hit in this area. They were very quick.
Go to a few self-defense classes and learn techniques.
All the areas they hit were super safe and it just took them two minutes to escape. There was one woman that was raped about 4 miles down the street. I feel glad that they didn’t kill us or take us hostage. Who knows what they would do if you entered the home right there? Safety is something you take very seriously.
Some people are scared when they see policemen and some feel like they’re very safe that the policemen are there. I have mixed feelings about that. What do you think the origin of that is? Do we reach out to the neighborhood police stations and see if they can come and talk to us? How does that work in terms of the community versus the law enforcement that’s around us that’s supposed to help you?
As a retired police officer, I’m tired of going to parties and people finding out that I used to be a police officer and I still sometimes engage in training law enforcement officers that they give me a bad story. They had this interaction that they considered negative with a law enforcement officer. One of my life’s missions is not only to make people safe but to make people feel safe with the police and make the police better.
Let’s be honest. In law enforcement, we had some rough edges and some things that we had to fix and have to fix. One of the things I teach law enforcement officers is Verbal Judo, verbal de-escalation and treating people with dignity and respect. I can come up to you and say, “Give me your license.” I also can say, “I’m Corey Jones from your local police department. The reason I’m talking to you is we had a report of a suspicious person in this yard. Are you allowed to be here? Is everything okay?” That sounds much better. I can get a better result as a law enforcement officer doing that way.
I want you and your readers to know that law enforcement officers across the country are focusing on verbal de-escalation and treating people with dignity and respect. What I would tell citizens to do to answer your question is you can have an officer from the community policing division or their public affairs division come to a local meeting that you have, whether it be a neighborhood watch, a community meeting that you had or community event.
If you’re having a barbecue, they’ll come out and play with the kids. They’ll answer all the questions that you have about how many officers are working, what their crime rate is, their response time is, help ease those concerns and show that positive image that we’re trying to do. In my career, I’ve trained with law enforcement agencies from the federal state, local and county from the East Coast to the West Coast and some from outside of this country.
The vast, overwhelming majority high, 98% of them were professional people that I would trust coming into my house to rescue my wife and kids if I were traveling abroad. There are those bad apples that, unfortunately, the ones that get plastered all over the media. What do we do as citizens? We see that and think that all the rest of them are the same way. They’re not. I was in internal affairs and if somebody did something wrong, we could either handle it with additional training, have minor discipline, major discipline or fire that person. I’ve been involved in all of those things.
I am apt to tell you a funny story. I was flying for years and years. I was doing my show on the Home Shopping Network for many years. The first few times I flew into Tampa, I didn’t know the lay of the land and they didn’t have the GPS like they used to have after, so you had those little maps. I’m a very dyslexic person. I’m not very good at directions. When somebody says Northeast, I don’t even know if that’s a left turn or right turn.
I was driving and see these flashing lights. I pull over on a bridge. It’s not an off-ramp or anything. It’s one of those bridges that go a few miles. Two policemen come out. He was trying to say something to me. I watched a lot of those crime shows on snapped. It’s so bizarre. People can kill somebody. I’m addicted to the show.
I watched a true California story. There’s a sheriff officer that was assaulted and in prison at this point. It was very fresh on my mind. When the officer that stopped me walked over, I lowered the window so that I could speak to him. I asked him if I could take a picture of his badge. I called in his badge number, not to his police station but to my husband and everybody like, “I’m in Tampa Stopover.” I looked out for him.
He said, “Your taillights aren’t working,” or something. I can’t remember what it was. It was something minor. I said to him, “It’s a rental car. I didn’t know that. I’m lost. I might have been weaving a little bit. I’m not sure because I’m reading this map.” He said, “No problem.” He asked me for my driver’s license, so I went ahead and gave it to him.
These two officers escorted me to my destination, which was a few miles. They were very pleasant. With my robbery here, I freaked out. We were coming back from the viewing of my mother-in-law, who had passed away a few days before. We didn’t even know what to think because that was the last thing that we were going to deal with that day.
The officers were very calm and asked me to step outside because it was not safe. They went through the whole house, the backyard, the front yard, the neighbor’s yard and all this stuff. He also told us that there are some security issues. If I wanted to feel very safe, they’re going to go ahead and make some recommendations. We had security cameras but they weren’t pointed at the right places like the entry points and things like that.
They gave us a whole recommendation and walked through room by room. For example, I have those motion-detected flashing lights, so it shocks people. It’s hardwired. They were very nice. Sometimes I’m stopped over for something and an officer might say something like, “Do you want to step outside?” I’m like, “What did I do wrong?” They don’t want to talk to you. They treat you like you are drinking or something. I don’t even drink.
A lot of that has to do with your background. People’s minds go to the worst experience they ever had and the worst thing that could happen. Safety is something that we have to take very seriously because we don’t have any control over that. Secondly, if you’re going to be safe, you’re going to need officers to help you. They’re the ones you can call when you’re in trouble.
If you’re potentially stopped by someone and you’re not sure if it’s a real police officer, I have a podcast episode that deals exactly with that and what you’re supposed to do. The main thing is to turn on your four-way flashers, reduce your speed to the speed limit, pull over to the right but not over if you’re unsafe and call 911, which is everywhere in the United States.
Verify if, in fact, the one stopping you is a legitimate police officer.
If you have an idea of where you are, the 911 operator will be able to locate that police officer attempting to stop you and verify if it is a legitimate police officer. That little bit of time that you took with your four-ways on is not going to make that police officer any more upset because that 911 operator is also going to communicate with that police officer like, “Your motorist was trying to verify because they were scared.” That is well within the law as long as you’re not committing any additional motor vehicle violations when you do that. I talk about some other things in the podcast too.
I want to congratulate you because you told two positive stories. Even if you’re doing it subconsciously, you’re balancing them against some of the negative experiences in the stories you had and giving officers a chance to do the right thing. Two of those stories that you told me were right out of the playbook of how I would train my officers, the one on the car stop, finding out who you are, identifying you, making sure you’re not a criminal or wanted and then helping you to your destination safely. The second one is getting you out of the danger zone of your house that was recently burglarized and would still be occupied by dangerous, desperate armed people and clear that for you.
Going so far to give you some tips and techniques to make your house safer and prevent that type of situation or worse, like some assault, from happening later. They were right out of the playbooks. I want everybody reading to understand that the vast majority of the police officers don’t have crystal balls. We don’t know what we’re going to show up to. We know a dispatch tells us but it’s often inaccurate because that’s based on a 911 call from an upset person. We have to handle everybody as a potential suspect. My job is to be able to teach officers how to handle a person as a potential suspect while still treating them with dignity and respect.
With the sheriff officers that came here, I’m able to call the detective. He usually returns my call. I thought he’d be so busy because he got murderers to deal with. I just got the robbery thing going, so I feel a little guilty when I do the follow-up calls. I’m not interested in getting my things back. I’m just interested in making sure that person doesn’t go out and do any more harm. The other biggest fear is what if they come back because they didn’t get all they wanted? We didn’t come back at five minutes. We came back within a minute when we got there.
I love the idea of having some collaboration with your live watchman officers, whether they’re sheriffs, the police or community policing. It’s hard if they freaked out that you may be the suspect, the suspect might be there trying to hurt them and then the victims freaked out as well. Wouldn’t you say that over-communicating and having a little bit more tolerance and giving everybody a little bit more benefit of the doubt might help a lot of the situations that we don’t have to face unnecessarily?
The collaboration between law enforcement and community, we touched on that already by inviting your law enforcement officers to your business, residence or if you’re having a block party or something like that, you got to lure them with donuts and coffee though, just haven’t been a cop or something exciting for them like if you want to get kids to come, you got to have candy. If you want to get guys to come at someplace, you got to have beers.
Have them come through your business and check their business out so the first time they’re there on your block, it’s not during an emergency. Transition that to all your neighbors working together.
When you responded to the incident at your home, your neighbors were there also and called because they heard the loud audible sirens, which is good. Have that plan in place where everybody’s looking out for each other. They’re reporting suspicious vehicles immediately to the police department. Having that local two-minute response time, use that to your advantage.
We want to scare those bad guys away. We want them to know that when they’re out there pre-planning and doing as we did, which is the situational awareness, they’re doing that pre-operational surveillance. We want them to get caught and see that they’re not going to be able to get away with this in the fashion that they wanted to.
Everything that you said makes complete sense in many ways. They are things that we don’t think about because crime is something you don’t think about until it happens to most people. Luckily for me, I was in the jewelry business, so we were always targets. I went through a lot of safety training and that kind of stuff. I wanted to commend you for everything you’ve done and all the service that you’ve given to your community and this country. Also, what you’re doing is educating all of us on how to keep you feeling safe.
That’s the other thing too. Being safe is one thing but also feel safe enough where you can function at your maximum. I loved that. Also, all the things that you can do to preemptively prevent some of those things that could happen or going back to your three A’s, being aware, avoiding and also taking action. For those of you who are interested in more safety, I can’t stress enough to you how important that is to follow someone like Corey, who’s been there for a long time to prevent anything like what had happened to me.
Luckily, the only thing that happened to me was they took a bunch of jewelry. I designed jewelry, so it’s not all that devastating to me per se but it was an eye awakening experience and a shakeup moment for me as well. Corey, I’ll have you tell where people can listen to you, how they connect with you and how they could also get you to speak at their events nationwide, virtually or in person.
Thank you for that and those words of confidence. They can go to my website, which is www.Safetyman.co. They can have me come out. I can teach verbal de-escalation, crisis management and active shooter preparation. I can come out and speak specifically to women business leaders and teach them different things that they want to do to prepare themselves for internal or external problems to help with the “#MeToo Movement,” all different types of things and how they can report that.
They can look at my podcast channel, which is Safetyman Podcast or Safetyman Consulting and then my YouTube channel, which is Safetyman Consulting. Everything that’s on the podcast channels is also on the YouTube channel. If you like my smiling face, you can watch it on YouTube. If you want to listen to it on your ride home, you can go right to the podcasts. I update them weekly. You’ll find that the common theme is making those preparations and plans, communicating those plans of who you’re with and then making those plans happen or taking action if something does kick-off.
Thank you so much for coming in, sharing your expertise and time with us and also all the places that we can connect with you. Those are all free channels. It’s just an investment of a little bit of time for you to get super aware of what’s going on. Until next time. I wish you safety and happiness. Remember, happiness is a choice. I hope you make great choices. Thank you.
Thank you, Victoria. Stay safe.
- The Corey Jones Show
- Safetyman Podcast – Apple Podcasts
- Safetyman Consulting – YouTube
About Corey Jones
I served 25 years with the Mt. Laurel Police Department (NJ) beginning in 1993. During that time, I served fifteen years with Special Weapons and Tactics (SWAT) Team, ultimately becoming the leader for the Burlington County Regional SWAT team. I am trained as an instructor in all lethal and less lethal weapon platforms as well as verbal de-escalation.
In 2000, I was promoted to the rank of Sergeant. As a Sergeant, I was tasked with conducting routine and advanced training, public information, community policing, supervisory duties, internal affairs investigations, quality control and operating as the incident commander for critical events. I served as a shift commander and retired in September 2018 at the rank of Sergeant. I oversaw more than one thousand arrests and numerous critical, life-threatening incidents.
With Safetyman Consulting I specialize in four critical services stemming from Safety, Security and Survival. I am the consultant for several multi-billion-dollar companies including Annie Mac, Jefferson Healthcare and Royal Farms.
1) I provide critical instruction to all levels of employees and management. I teach Tactical Communications through the Verbal Judo Institute. I stress conflict avoidance strategies. The goal of this instruction is to increase safety and enhance professionalism.
2) I train private citizens, security guards and professional law enforcement officers on how to properly deploy firearms and Tasers.
3) I train businesses, schools, houses of worship and daycare centers in readiness response. Specifically, I instruct active shooter prevention, training and recovery.
4) I train 1st Responder agencies in Incident Command and Crisis Management.
In an effort to give back to the community, I conduct speaking engagements with youth on how they can survive an encounter with police while protecting both their lives and their rights.
I have weekly, online TV Shows hosted by Radio Vision Network ( www.rvntelevision.com ) called “Be Ready with Safetyman” and “The Corey Jones Show”. I have a two weekly podcasts on all major podcast sites called “Safetyman Consulting” and “Safetyman Podcast” where I provide safety and readiness information.
My goal is to leverage my training and experience for your organization. I plan to deliver current industry-standard content which is geared to build a culture of safety, resilience, readiness and professionalism in the face of unexpected adversity.