For many of us, October means visits to the pumpkin patch, harvest parties, dressing up in costumes, Halloween, and trick-or-treating. Unfortunately, accidents can happen…here are some tips to help keep all the festivities fun and safe:
• Remember there is always safety in numbers: children should go trick-or-treating in groups and with an adult.
• Have kids carry glow sticks or flashlights to help them see and be seen in the dark.
• Make sure costumes fit well to prevent trips and falls.
• Costume accessories, such as swords and knives should be short, soft and flexible.
• Masks can block vision, use face paint instead, if possible.
• Look both ways before crossing the street and use cross walks whenever possible.
• Teach children to make eye contact with drivers before crossing in front of them.
• Examine all treats for choking hazards and tampering before eating them.
• Only trick-or-treat at well-lit houses.
• Drive extra safe on Halloween. Popular trick-or-treating hours are 5:30pm-9:30pm.
• When driving, keep in mind that children are very excited on Halloween and may move in unpredictable ways.
• Keep candle-lit jack o’lanterns and luminaries away from doorsteps, walkways, landings and curtains. Remind children to not walk near them.
Summer vacation is here! Did you know the STARS volunteers offer vacation checks? Before you pack your bags and leave town, call the STARS! A STARS volunteer will check your home while you are away, and will contact you if there are any problems. Remember to call in advance! Chico STARS: 891-2704, Oroville STARS: 538-7820, Magalia STARS: 872-6337. Vacation Checks are just one of the many things STARS volunteers do for our community. The Sheriff’s Office is lucky to have this group of people who are so willing to help out when needed! We are always looking for more volunteers, if you are interested call one of the phone numbers listed above for more information. STARS volunteers are required to pass a background check and volunteer 4 hours a week.
We’ve all heard the saying that dogs are man’s best friend…and BCSO K-9’s are no exception to that rule. I recently had the opportunity to take pictures at a K-9 training and was so impressed with the relationship our K-9 handlers have with their dogs. Yes, these dogs are working, and they are very good at what they do, whether it be sniffing out drugs or finding and attacking the bad guy…but I couldn’t help noticing the level of compassion and dedication our deputies have to their dogs, and how much those dogs want to please their deputies.
Solo, a 4 year old Belgian Malinois, is a duel purpose dog, certified in patrol and narcotics detection. Solo is certified in detecting heroin, methamphetamine, cocaine, and marijuana, has been crucial in apprehending numerous suspects, and has almost $300,000 in cash seizures. Solo recently apprehended a suspect in the attic of a motel during a SWAT stand off where the suspects were seen with an AK-47.
Kaya, an 18 month old Belgian Malinois, is also a duel purpose dog, certified in patrol and narcotics detection. Kaya is trained in Dutch and went through a five week school in Red Bluff a few months ago.
Both dogs are very well behaved, highly trained, and sweet…but trust me when I say that you wouldn’t want to be the bad guy when these deputies release their dogs.
I am a strong supporter of the 2nd Amendment and as Sheriff of Butte County took an oath to uphold the Constitution of the United States. As such, I support the rights of mentally stable, law abiding citizens to possess firearms. Our focus at the Butte County Sheriff’s Office has been, and will continue to be, on keeping guns out of the hands of criminals and mentally unstable individuals. Responsible gun ownership is not the problem. Irresponsible gun ownership is the nexus to the tragedies we have seen.
The State of California already has in place a comprehensive body of law intended to keep guns out of the hands of criminals and mentally unstable individuals. California already requires background checks to be performed on any individual purchasing a gun, and a waiting period already exists. There has been a magazine capacity ban in effect since the 1990’s and assault rifles are already highly regulated in California. Accordingly, I do not believe additional regulation is warranted in California.
When it comes to keeping our children safe, I would like to see funding made available to local law enforcement agencies so they can hire officers to be assigned to school campuses. Additionally, we need to improve our systems that identify and treat people with mental health issues. And finally, we need the resources necessary to hold criminals who use firearms accountable.
January seems to be a time for cleaning and organizing, it’s a way to try to start the year off on the right foot. This is also a good time to take a simple crime prevention survey of your home. Check your door locks, are they all secure? How about your windows? Do you have a way of locking your windows? If not, purchase some wooden dowels at a local craft store. The wooden dowels can be placed in your window track and will act as a lock. How about your outside lighting? Make sure your lights work; lighting is a very effective way to make your home less appealing to a burglar. How is your landscaping looking? It’s a good idea to trim bushes and hedges that could provide hiding spaces for someone trying to look in your windows. Do you have a gate to your backyard and is it locked? Now is a good time to purchase a lock if you haven’t already. If you have an alarm system, try to run a test to make sure it is working correctly. These are very simple, yet effective, ways to keep your home safe. Have you made your New Year’s Resolution yet? How about making a New Year’s resolution to keep your doors locked? In the majority of burglaries in our area, forced entry is not involved. That means the burglar simply opens a door or window to gain access to your home. Remember to lock your doors, and have a safe 2013!