2020 has probably been the worst year on record for many of us. 

This is our time in history to face challenges that have never before been faced. 

This is our time to live in a period that shall be remembered for generations to come. 

This has been a record year for all first responders, especially the last few months. I spoke with a medical examiner just the other day, and he was telling the story of how the emergency room looked like a war zone with patients who are very sick overwhelming the ER staff there. 

I have talked to my friends at EMS who work a 24-hour shift and never get a break. The medical community itself seems to be at a breaking point, but they fight through it. 

I wanted to take a moment to start this month’s report by saying we appreciate what they do. They are on the front lines of this invisible war. 

We should never forget the sacrifices and struggles our medical community is enduring, and how they are giving so much for us.

Crime, however, never takes a break. Not even in the worst or best of times. 

It is all around us, and most crimes here in our neighborhoods are crimes of opportunity. 

So how do we stop these crimes of opportunity? We become vigilant and much like driving defensively, we verify everything we see or hear. 

I have gotten to the point where I receive a credit card or bill notification and just ignore it. Not that it is legitimate, but I do not click on the links in the email. 

If I want to review something I go directly to the company website and log in. I never click the links in my emails no matter how legitimate it looks. Clicking on those links can be one sure way to let malware into your computer. 

Another reminder is do not give your personal information through email or by phone. Always remember the rule: If someone knocked on your door and asked for your personal information, would you give it to them?

A couple of lessons we learned about the Christmas Day bombing in Nashville that we all need to put in our personal safety toolbox is what happens when the phone lines go down. 

This is probably a once-in-a-lifetime event, but it certainly affected millions of people. 

How do we function if a service such as 911 goes down? How do we get help in an emergency if we have no way to get ahold of those who can send help? 

Here are a list of numbers to program not only into your phone, but also to write down or keep in a safe place. 

Not every situation can be covered, but one good thing is if one major carrier loses a network, not everyone is on the same carrier and friends and neighbors may have phone service. 

Here is a list of important numbers in case 911 ever goes down again:

Fairfield Glade Police, 931-484-3785

This phone is either answered by a person during business hours or an automated recording after hours that will send you to 911.

Cumberland County Sheriff, 931-484-6176

This phone is usually answered by a person, but if not, an automated system will connect you to 911.

Tennessee Highway Patrol, 931-528-8496; *THP if on a cellular device.

The preceding numbers will get you in touch with law enforcement and they can get you police, fire or EMS. 

If there is a regional outage of all phone lines, the Fairfield Glade Police Department will set up a command center at the Police Department Building. This is extremely unlikely but after 2020, we take nothing for granted.

Remember, we are all trying to social distance and stay apart for good reason, but please don’t forget to keep an eye on your neighbors. 

We at the Fairfield Glade Police Department wish you a Happy New Year!

Buzzed Driving is Drunk Driving!

Remember: Enhance your safety by joining your local Neighborhood Watch Group!

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