Running season is officially here and many people are dusting off their sneakers to hit the streets and local trails.
In the wake of attacks against joggers and walkers all across the country, people are taking extra precautions to ensure they stay safe.
A company headquartered in Hartford, and founded by two people who were born and raised in the state, has created a new device can empower those who often feel powerless.
"All I need to do any time I’m feeling uncomfortable, or I want someone to know that I need some help, I give it a simple press,” said Claire Zick, as she showed Eyewitness News how the device works.
Zick is the chief product officer at Wearsafe labs.
She said the Wearsafe tag can be clipped to your clothing or keychain, and is a personal safety device that connects to your phone over Bluetooth.
With the push of a button, it sends an alert from the app to family and friends.
"This cell phone does not need to be in my hand, it can be up to 200 feet away, hidden away in my purse or completely out of sight,” Zick said.
Unlike some other apps, when the device is activated, it does not call 9-1-1. Instead it starts a virtual chatroom with your chosen network and they can listen to what's going on.
Walkers and joggers have come under attack all across the country.
Back in 2015, Avon police say a woman was reportedly sexually assaulted on the Rails to Trails.
In Massachusetts, a 27-year-old woman was battered, burned and discovered in the woods near her mother's home one year ago. Her suspected killer was arrested just days ago.
"Trust your instinct, always trust your instinct ... When you're dealing with someone or you see something,” said Hartford Deputy Police Chief Brian Foley.
He recommends people take several precautions like exercising in an area you’re familiar with, and telling someone where you’re going. But if you get into a tough situation, "run fast and yell if you do think you are in trouble."
"I always try to walk in pairs and try not to walk in the winter when its dark out,” said Pam Anderson, of New Britain.
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