by Mayor Tammy

We consistently rank as one of the safest cities in Idaho and are by far the largest city to be included on the top 10 list. Part of being a safe city includes education.

Did you know we recently started what police and highway patrol agencies call the “100 deadliest days of summer”? More accidents happen on the roads in June, July and August than during any other time throughout the year and teens have the highest crash rate of any age group. Friends (passengers) and texting are the main distractions for teens. Our Meridian Police Department recently released a video that, while funny, drove home a very serious message – “Put Down Your Phone and Drive” (view it here). In 2017, Meridian Police issued 150 texting while driving citations and 360 careless while driving citations. I’m hoping we see a lot less this year. It’s not worth it! I would encourage EVERYONE to be safe on the roads this summer and put down your phone!

Another video the department created called “Lock it or Lose it” (view it here) talks about the importance of locking up your stuff – especially guns. Property crime and ‘crimes of opportunity’ because people leave their cars and/or homes unlocked are not only the biggest issue in this area – it’s the most preventable crime as well! An example of great concern: Last year 67 guns were stolen in Meridian. Not only does this create an opportunity for criminals, but it can also create a scary situation in the home if children have access to firearms. This week the Meridian Police Department is hosting a two hour open house to foster and encourage gun safety as part of National ASK (Asking Saves Kids) Day, a campaign focused on reminding parents and caregivers to safely lock up their firearms. Police will also hand out free handgun locks to those who attend the open house on Thursday, June 21 from 4:00 p.m. – 6:00 p.m. at the Meridian Public Safety Training Center (1223 E Watertower Street, Meridian, Idaho).

Another important tip: If you’re planning a vacation this summer, don’t advertise it on social media and remember to make the effort to pause your mail service or newspaper deliveries. If you can, ask a neighbor to keep an eye on your home. Make sure to be proactive in keeping your home safe by locking doors and your cars at night, which takes away the option for someone to easily steal items.

While police are proactively patrolling the streets this summer, including our parks - the Meridian Fire Department is in the midst of its “busy” season. As the Fourth of July nears, the department is asking families to consider attending a fireworks event rather than setting off fireworks at home. We host a great event on July 4 at Storey Park that includes activities throughout the day beginning at 3pm, capped off by a wonderful fireworks show over the Meridian sky. Please join us!

If you do plan to set off LEGAL fireworks, our department has put together a detailed “do’s and don’ts” list that you can view here.

It’s important to keep summers full of awesome memories, and I hope these safety reminders help ensure yours will be one that you won’t forget.

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