To the editor:
The beaches are packed, the thermometers are rising and school’s out.
It’s summer in Bristol County!
From beaches to festivals, from cookouts to cornhole, and from celebrations to holidays, summer in Bristol County is second to none. There’s so much to do and enjoy. It’s truly my favorite time of the year.
It’s also a good opportunity to share some safety reminders so you can stay safe while having fun. So please take a second to remember a few things are you go about your summer fun:
1. Wear sunscreen if you’re going to be outside. I can’t stress this enough. Sunscreen will keep your skin and your body safe from the sun. Apply some and enjoy all the outdoor fun you want.
2. Keep an eye on your belongings at the beach. Only bring what you need and if you’re leaving your towel and cooler to take a dip in the water, tuck your keys and stuff under a towel or something else so it’s not out in the open.
3. Social media is a great way to stay connected with family and friends. But please consider not posting any vacation pictures until after you return. Posting pictures from the Cape or Martha’s Vineyard with a post saying you’ll be back in a week gives criminals the heads up that your home will be unoccupied.
4. If, like me, you like to go out for a walk in the evening when the temperatures drop, always bring your mobile phone with you and keep it charged. And if you’re walking alone, a good idea is to talk to someone on speaker phone while walking to deter possible criminal activity.
5. Always keep your car windows rolled up and always lock your doors, especially before you go to bed. And if you have any valuables in your car, please put them in the glove compartment or middle console. Criminals can walk through neighborhoods in the middle of the night pulling handles in search of unlocked cars.
6. Be aware of your surroundings. Know where the exits are in case of an emergency. If you see something that seems out of place, say something to a police officer or deputy.
7. Fireworks are very dangerous. If you are celebrating July 4th in Newport, Tiverton or other places in Rhode Island or New Hampshire where fireworks are legal and the party has some, be very cautious and keep your distance. Every emergency room in every hospital probably has patients with burns from fireworks injuries around July 4th.
8. Please tell your children not to take any medications, Tylenol or any other medicine from people they don’t trust. Every day in the United States people are dying from fentanyl. And some fentanyl is put into pill form and disguised as normal pain relievers.
9. When I was a kid, I’d hop on my bike in the morning and not return until supper time. I bet this played out for a lot of you, but the world is very different today. Know where your kids are going. Make sure their phones are charged and make sure there’s going to be a parent or adult around.
10. Never get behind the wheel if you’ve been drinking. Enjoying some cocktails, craft beer or some good wine on a summer day is great, but be careful and don’t drive if you’re not sober. Call a cab, an Uber, or designate a sober driver.
Finally, if you’re out at a festival, parade, park or anywhere else and you see a police officer or deputy sheriff, say hello. If you see a canine officer, ask if you can pet their dog. A lot of these officers are working overtime on their days and nights off to keep these celebrations safe. A smile and a wave goes a long way.
I hope all of you have a safe, fun summer. But please, don’t forget to wear sunscreen.
Sheriff Thomas M. Hodgson