In effort to prevent assaults, police in Denton have announced the implementation for the "Ask For Angela" program.
The program is a discreet method for patrons to ask for help if they feel unsafe or uneasy when they’re out by approaching a staff member and "asking for Angela". Chief Frank Dixon with the Denton Police Department says the program, which is already recognized globally, was important to bring to Denton.
The city is home to three college campuses.
"While it’s not a regular thing that happens, I think we have responsibility as law enforcement to proactively go out and not just target keeping our young ladies and men safe but it’s a message to those would-be offenders, that we’re not going to stand for that in our city," Chief Dixon said.
Once someone "asks for Angela", trained staff will know to pull that individual aside and inquire what sort of help they need. East Side Denton, a bar on Oak Street in Denton, is one of at least 10 bars which have partnered with police.
East Side Denton manager Cale Marshall says for them, it will work similarly to what’s already known as asking for an "angel shot".
"I would take a good look around and try to see if the person you might be talking about is on your hip or next to you or within earshot," Marshall told NBC 5. "I would ask questions of what can I do to help you? Is it immediate? Do I need to call cops now?"
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With friends still in college or have recently graduated, Molly Thornton said she thinks the program is a great idea.
"It’s just very uncomfortable, you know?" Thorton said. "If you tell someone more than a few times you’re not interested in their advances and you’re having a conversation with your friends and you would like for them to leave you alone and that person still persists, that’s not okay."
Dixon said the goal is for the program to be wide-spread in the community.