Sebastian residents invited to ‘Refuse to be a Victim’ on Jan. 7th

Refuse to be a Victim in Sebastian, Florida.
Refuse to be a Victim in Sebastian, Florida.

Learn how you can create layers of safety in your life at a free Community Forum Tuesday, Jan. 7 at Christ the King Lutheran Church. It starts at 6:30 p.m. and is open to all.

Speakers are Roberta Barker, retired Indian River deputy sheriff and Sebastian Police Officer Donald Hart.

They will discuss home and cyber security, automobile and travel security, the psychology of criminal predators, mental preparedness and personal protection options. A Power Point presentation and a question and answer period are included.

“You will learn the tools you need to develop your own personal safety strategies,” said Barker, who has more than 35 years of experience in law enforcement, education and communication. She has a bachelor’s degree in Criminal Justice Administration and several specialized certifications. Barker is known in Indian River County for initiating several community programs such as the Vial of Life and Operation Medicine Cabinet, which yielded pounds of expired/unused medications.

RSVP by Jan 4 by calling Christ the King church at 772-589-7117 and leaving your name, phone number and email address. To register for more information, contact Officer Donald Hart at 772-228-7089 or at The church is located at 1301 Sebastian Blvd., Sebastian. It is wheelchair accessible.

Barker served 10 years in the United State Air Force, first as a narcotics K-9 military police officer and then as a flight scheduler. She joined the Indian River Sheriff’s Office in 1989 where she investigated crime scenes, traffic accidents, trained new personnel, was part of a COPE unit and was again a narcotics K-9 handler. She began educating the community about various crime prevention methods in 2007. She also served for awhile in the Sebastian Police Department.

Officer Hart served in the Indian River Sheriff’s Office for 30 years. His responsibilities included patrol work, COPE (Community Oriented Police Endeavors) Unit and the Detective Bureau. After retiring from the Sheriff’s Office he worked at the Sebastian Police Department in the COE Unit. He teaches the RAD kid safety class, RAD Women and other programs.

This is the ninth Community Forum offered by Christ the King Lutheran. Other free seminar topics have included Human Trafficking, Autism, Mass Shooting Preparedness, and the Opioid Crisis.

“We previously had Deputy Barker discuss ways to avoid identify theft,” said Maureen Latuputty, Community Forum committee member at Christ the King Lutheran. “She was awesome and very knowledgeable. About three months ago, I saw her at the library explain how to protect yourself in and out of the home. Again, she was very knowledgeable and gave an awesome presentation.”

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About Andy Hodges 2871 Articles
Andy Hodges was born in Annapolis, Maryland, and raised in Jupiter, Florida. He has been a radio and TV personality since the mid-1980s. He has worked for WFLX-TV (Fox 29), WIRK, WLIZ, WIXI, WKSY, WRMF, and others. In 1994, Andy took a break from broadcasting and was a software and systems engineer for various companies. In 2002, he permanently moved back to Sebastian, where Andy's family has lived for over 45 years. He returned to the broadcasting sector in 2005. Andy joined Sebastian Daily as our editor-in-chief in 2016.