Sunday, November 1, 2009

Refuse To Be a Victim Class November 7th

In March, the CEO of Intermountain Community Bank, Curt Hecker, held town hall meetings informing the community of the corporation’s new program, Powered by Community.

The goal of the program is to create a relationship among businesses, nonprofit organizations, residents and area resources in an effort to bring economic growth to the communities where ICB conducts business. Months later, ICB has made good on its promise and provided many resources to help stimulate the local economy.

In partnership with Idaho Small Business Center, Panhandle State Bank in Sandpoint, a subsidiary of ICB, has hosted a series of workshops free of charge to area residents.

“These are usually $29 (per person) for the workshop, but Panhandle State Bank is underwriting them so they are free,” said Kim Diercks, a commercial loan officer with the bank as well as the community development officer at the Sandpoint branch.

The classes are aimed at helping business owners and residents survive and thrive in a struggling economy. They cover topics such as starting one’s own business, marketing, managing business finances and developing goals.

But there are other issues to be addressed – issues that concern all residents not just business owners. Diercks said that while security is always an issue in the banking industry, there are a lot of common-sense practices people can do in everyday life but do not always think about. Personal safety, she said, is an issue that is becoming more important with difficult economic times.

“With this economy people are going to be more desperate,” said Diercks.

Next Saturday, Nov. 7, Panhandle State Bank in conjunction with the Sandpoint Police Department will offer the Refuse to be a Victim class free of charge.

Sgt. Dave Giffin of the Sandpoint Police Department is one of only two people in North Idaho, Eastern Washington and Montana who is certified to teach the class.

Several years ago, Giffin put in a great deal of time trying to get Neighborhood Block Watch programs started in Sandpoint. Unfortunately, he said, it was with little success. People were more interested in learning how to protect themselves without relying upon their neighbors.

Giffin attended a one week class to become a certified instructor for Refuse to be a Victim.

Next week’s four-hour class will cover topics such as the psychology of criminal predators, mental preparedness, home security, physical security, automobile security, technical security (including identity theft and cyberfraud), self-defense training and personal protection devices.

The class on Nov. 7 is limited to 30 people, but Diercks said if demand exists they will sponsor a second workshop.

To register
If you would like to register for the Nov. 7 Refuse to be a Victim class or learn more about the seminars put on by the Powered by Community program, log on to If you would like to learn more about Refuse to be a Victim, contact Sgt. Dave Giffin at the Sandpoint Police Department,(208) 265-1482

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