Q: In addition to your experience of being a law enforcement officer, detective, sergeant and chief criminal investigator, you have been referred to as one the nation’s go-to experts on issues of women’s safety, crime prevention and risk reduction. How did you end up in this line of work?
A: It was not until a few years ago that I realized that the following event of my past would be an indication that I was destined to serve the public. When I was 17 years old, I was walking on a beach in Old Saybrook, Connecticut with my girlfriend, now wife, when I saw a woman jump out of her beach chair and run to a mound of sand, screaming hysterically.
When I arrived, I saw two small feet sticking out of the sand. I began digging feverishly. It had rained the night before and an 8 year old boy had piled up the wet sand and dug a tunnel for him to climb through. As he was digging in the tunnel, the sand collapsed onto him and the only visible part of his body was his feet.
When I finally reached him he was blue, not breathing and his eyes were blood red. There were now 20 adults surrounding us. As I held him in my arms, I asked “does anyone know CPR?” and not one of the 20 people that lived and vacationed on the Long Island Sound responded. I asked several times and still not a word from anyone in the group of people.
I had recently read a pamphlet on how to perform CPR so I began rescue breathing without any certification or much knowledge on how to accurately do so. After what seemed like forever, the boy began breathing. Today I ask, why was a 17 year old teen delegated to save this young boys life?
Everything I’m currently doing came about because of my many passions that have developed in over more than 30 years in public service. As a young Police Officer, I volunteered to lecture on safety, risk reduction and crime prevention. I have also spoken to high school and college students about law enforcement as a career.
As a young Detective, I investigated a brutal rape case that went to trial in Superior Court. The two men that committed the rape were found guilty after trial and sentenced to 8 years and 12 years, respectively. I observed the many affects this type of crime can have on a community including the family, friends and neighbors of the victim. Sexual assault and crime against the woman can significantly affect dozens of
In the mid 1990′s I met my current partner, Brad Parker, at the Gracie Jiu-Jitsu Academy in Torrance, California. Brad is the founder of Defend University and the original “Girls on Guard” program. We shared the same mission of empowerment, safety and self-defense for our female loved ones and our community.
We studied thousands of cases on crimes against the woman and used survivors of sexual assault, kidnapping and domestic violence to create our programs “Fight Like A Girl,” “Girls on Guard,” “Defense Against Weapons,” “Weapons For Women” and our “Reduce The Odds.”
Q: Best piece of advice regarding personal safety for both male and female adults?
A: Listen to your good gift of intuition. We all have it, but we are the only beings on this planet that often disregard it. Exercise good common sense; it is a superpower that we don’t use enough. Run through in your mind every “what if?” scenario, have a blue print of what to do “IF.” During a time of crisis, or while under emotional stress or duress is not the time to be developing a safety plan.
Check out part 2 to find out why Steve consistently works with Inside Edition, CNN, Fox News, The Morning Show, CBS, NBC, Men’s Journal, and the New York Times on providing self-defense advice.
Want more info on how to protect yourself? Check out Steve’s new column on PhillipFritts.com, Defend University.