by Mayor Tammy

Thank you to everyone who came out to our Christmas in Meridian festivities! Our Parks and Recreation Department organized a host of events that launched December with great fanfare and loads of Christmas spirit - officially kicking off the holiday season in our community!

My hope for all our residents is that this season is successful for all. That’s why I spoke with our Fire and Police Departments to gather some safety reminders to share with you this week.

Here are some quick safety tips from Meridian Police Deputy Chief Tracy Basterrechea:

  • Slow down, especially when the roads are wet or covered with snow.

  • When shopping keep your purse with you and have your keys ready to open your car when you get to it (keep your hands free of clutter).

  • Place gifts out of site in your car while shopping.

  • Survey your surrounding when walking to or from your car.

He also asked that I remind everyone to be patient and said, “don’t forget this time of year is for holiday cheer, not road rage”. What a great reminder as we run our holiday errands!

At home – there are some things to keep in mind when it comes to safety. The Meridian Fire Department says one quarter of home Christmas tree fires are caused by electrical problems and although Christmas tree fires are not common, when the fires occur they can be serious. So here are some tips from the fire department:

  • Always turn off Christmas tree lights before leaving home or going to bed.

  • Replace any string of lights with worn or broken cords or loose bulb connections.

  • Following Christmas, if you have a real tree, be sure to dispose of it by taking advantage of Republic Services unlimited trash pickup and tree recycling week, the two weeks following the holiday. Meridian Fire says dried-out trees are a fire danger and should not be left in the home or garage, or placed outside against the home.

I’m grateful that we have fire and police personnel who serve our community so well and keep Meridian one of the safest places to call home in Idaho! On top of that – they give back to the people here!

Our Police Department will be participating in “Shop with a Cop”. Kids in our community who otherwise may not receive gifts will get to have breakfast with our officers and then they will take them shopping for Christmas gifts! The Meridian Police Employee’s Association is also providing gifts for a family that is in need this holiday in our community.

The Meridian Fire Department is doing its part to give back as well! Each Meridian Fire Station is a drop off site for food to benefit the Meridian Food Bank and for toys as part of the Toys for Tots campaign. Meridian Fire Local 4627 is also collecting funds to purchase coats. It’s called Operation Warm. The coats are made here in the U.S. then sent to our community for distribution. To learn more about these efforts, call the department at 208-888-1234.

As I typed my title for this blog, I thought about the importance of having both safety and giving in our community. These are two things the Meridian Police and Fire departments are going above and beyond to provide for us not only over the holidays, but year round – and for that, I am so thankful!

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