Michael L. Lyle, Chief
56 W. Foster St.
Melrose, MA 02176
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Monday, July 18, 2016
Contact: John Guilfoil
Melrose Police Advise Residents to Use Caution When Playing Pokemon Go
MELROSE — With an abundance of residents downloading and playing Pokémon Go, Chief Michael L. Lyle and the Melrose Police Department are strongly urging community members to put their safety first by using caution when trying to catch creatures located in the city.
The increasingly popular smartphone app allows users to collect Pokémon characters in a simulated virtual world — tapping into the device’s GPS system to track where players are throughout the day. To catch Pokémon, users travel to different spots, locating animals as they move up and down streets, through buildings and into their homes.
While no accidents or issues have been reported in Melrose as a result of Pokémon Go, numerous incidents have occurred both locally and nationwide. Chief Lyle asks that citizens remember to always be aware of their surroundings and to be respectful of others while playing.
- Stay alert. Keep your eyes on the road and off your mobile screen when walking around, especially in areas where you need to cross the street or where there is heavy traffic flow.
- Do not use the game while operating a motor vehicle. Keep the app closed while behind the wheel. Pull over and park your vehicle once you’ve reached your destination and plan your route ahead of time if the game requires you to walk to another location.
- Let others know where you’re going. If you’re walking to an unfamiliar area, tell a friend or family member your plans.
- Travel in groups with friends or family members while playing the game. There is safety in numbers.
- Be visible. Stay in areas where you can be seen and where others can see you. Always be aware of your surroundings.
- Be respectful. Do not loiter in front of homes or businesses. If in a large group, be aware of the time of day or night and keep noise at an appropriate volume.
- Stay off private property and away from construction zones, as well as other areas where public access is prohibited.
- Parents should set guidelines for children. Limit where they can go in your neighborhood and remind them to never interact or go anywhere with strangers.
“We certainly don’t want this game to be the cause of any accidents or injuries,” Chief Lyle said. “If you’re walking or driving around the city, keep your eyes on what’s in front of you, and if you must stop to engage in the game, make sure you are away from the flow of traffic and in view of other pedestrians and motorists. Never venture onto private property or areas that are normally prohibited to the public.”