As the community misconduct specialist, I deal with many problems service members face that could be easily resolved by being careful and using common sense.
Here are some hints to help our community stay safe and have a better new year:
1. Secure your vehicles and house to prevent thieves from gaining easy access. Do not leave items in open view in your car (for example, GPS systems, cell phones, military equipment, recall rosters, and other expensive or sensitive equipment).
2. Do not pay for expensive items in advance, such as a vehicle, without having inspected the item and knowing the seller’s full name and address.
3. Be careful when you give an individual a general power of attorney. Often, a limited power of attorney will suffice (check with your legal office for details).
4. Be aware of the importance of your government documents, such as ID card, Common Access Card and U.S. Army Europe driver’s license. Always keep them with you or in a safe place.
5. Do not use or be in possession of controlled substances, whether on or off base and do not drive under the influence of alcohol or controlled substances.
6. If something sounds too good to be true, it usually is. For example, if you read about a person who is giving away free puppies, check out why. Do your own research and question why the individual is giving away the animal. Is there a health issue with the puppy?
7. Do not walk around downtown (in any city) at night alone. If someone tries to fight you, walk away if possible and call the police.
8. Ensure children are supervised IAW the KMC child supervision matrix.
9. Report all traffic accidents to Polizei/security forces, regardless of how minor, in order to prevent being charged with “failure to report” and “fleeing the scene.”