Observation takes many forms. From your home, a mobile home, an apartment or condo you can determine your best observation points. From your auto, truck or van you can observe both the road and other activities. Many people walk or jog as a daily routine, going to and from the store or work, or for their own physical fitness.

Observation and recognition skills play a large part of your mutual protection. In rural areas, your truck, tractor, snowmobile or horse give you the opportunity to be mobile and to observe. Whatever your means of observation, use your head to determine if what you are observing is of a suspicious nature. Remember, observations are not only made by sight, but also from sounds and smells.


Recognition is of equal importance. Learn how to get a good description of the suspect, identify their vehicle, their method of operation and their activity. Recognize that when your neighbor is away on vacation, a stranger should not be coming in and out of their house. In a rural area, recognize that your neighbor probably is not aware that someone is beginning to cut down his 200-year old walnut tree.
In any situation, use your head, and recognize what is routine and what is suspicious.

Time is critical in apprehension. When you see or hear something suspicious, call the police immediately.