The Meridian Police Department submitted the following safety message for the public. It has not been edited.
In this busy, hectic time of year, we need to remember some helpful tips to make this holiday season a little safer and better for all of us.
When you’re out and about shopping and visiting, please be mindful of the other driver. They may not be looking out for you. Distracting thoughts, holiday plans and talking on the phone may make you or them less aware of their surroundings when traveling the roads.
If you drive as if you expect them to make a wrong turn or veer into your lane, the holiday won’t be marred by a traffic accident. If you see a driver you suspect may be under the influence of something, find a safe place to call 911 with their tag number and report them. Law enforcement will be out in force this year looking for impaired drivers who endanger others on the road.
When you’re dashing about doing your last minute shopping, remember to lock your car doors and keep valuables out of sight. Lock them in the trunk if you can or cover your packages with a coat or blanket.
Ladies, remember to put that purse strap over your shoulder and not leave it dangling from your hand as an easy target and never leave your purse unattended in the buggy, especially when unloading at your vehicle.
Now is the perfect time of year to record all those serial numbers of those new presents we get. Write down the make and model of that new camera or video game and keep it in a safe place. Make an extra copy and leave it at work or with a relative.
Because most serial numbers are affixed with an easily removable paper tag, take a sharp tool and engrave an identifying mark or numbers on the back or underside of a valuable item. In the unfortunate event that you are the victim of a burglary, this information may help getting your property back to you.
Remember those pretty presents under the tree are a nice invitation to a thief if you leave your curtains open when you’re not home. Hide them in a closet for now. They’ll still be there for Christmas morning.
Lastly, when the big morning has come and gone, don’t just sit your boxes out on the street for trash pick-up. The thieves will have a “shopping list” of what Santa brought and will come back later to help themselves.
Rip those boxes up and stuff them in a bag or at least flatten them and hid them in the rest of the trash.
We hope you have a Merry Christmas and look forward to the New Year, where together, we will make our city a safer, better place to live.