From the Sheriff, Ken J. Mascara
Join the Eye Watch Program
Does your home or business have exterior security cameras? If so, consider joining our Eye Watch program.
Eye Watch is a web database where residents and businesses with security camera can register so law enforcement can know where sources of video evidence may exist during an investigation.
To strengthen this system, a partnership with RING includes the use of the free Neighbors app to provide residents with real-time, local crime and safety information. The Neighbors network already has millions of users and has been instrumental in catching package thieves, stopping burglaries, and keeping neighborhoods safe.
Any resident of St. Lucie County can download the free Neighbors app, join your neighborhood, and use the app to monitor neighborhood activity, share crime and safety-related videos, photos and text-based posts and receive real-time safety alerts from your neighbors, local law enforcement and the RING team.
For more information visit www.ring.com/neighbors or to download the app go to https://go.onelink.me/v1xd/stlucie.
If you have a RING security device, you could help local law enforcement solve crimes. If a crime occurs in your neighborhood, deputies from the Sheriff’s Office may contact you through the Neighbors app and request you share video with them that may have captured suspects, vehicles or other important evidence. Sharing that video is as simple as a couple taps on your smartphone or tablet. However, having a RING device is not a requirement in joining the Neighbors network or downloading the app.
If you don’t have a RING device, but do have another brand of security camera, we’d love to know. Go to www.stluciesheriff.com and click on the Eye Watch logo. It takes just a few minutes to complete a short questionnaire and add yourself to our Eye Watch database. This important tool will allow our detectives to search by an address and see any home or business with a security camera and then contact the owner for permission to review the footage that might help solve a case.
These two programs, RING Neighbors and Eye Watch, are services that allow you to help fight and prevent crime and make your neighborhood safer. Please consider joining us in this effort. You might even help put a criminal behind bars.
As the summer slowly comes to an end, students will be packing their book bags and heading back to school. This also means that roadways will become congested as parents and bus drivers take kids to and from school. It’s never more important for drivers to slow down and pay attention than when kids are present.
Don’t block the crosswalk when stopped at a red light or waiting to make a turn, forcing pedestrians to go around you; this could put them in the path of moving traffic.
In a school zone when flashers are blinking, stop and yield to pedestrians crossing the crosswalk or intersection.
Always stop for a school crossing guard holding up a stop sign and take extra care to look for children in school zones, near playgrounds and parks, and in all residential areas.
Never pass a vehicle stopped for pedestrians and always use extreme caution to avoid striking pedestrians wherever they may be, no matter who has the right of way. If you’re driving behind a bus, allow a greater following distance than if you were driving behind a car. It will give you more time to stop once the yellow lights start flashing, and remember, it is illegal in all 50 states to pass a school bus that is stopped to load or unload children.
Navigating around a bus is always a point of concern and, sometimes, confusion. Never pass a bus from behind – or from either direction if you’re on an undivided road – if it is stopped to load or unload children. If the yellow or red lights are flashing and the stop arm is extended, traffic must stop. The area 10 feet around a school bus is the most dangerous for children; stop far enough back to allow them space to safely enter and exit the bus. Be alert; children often are unpredictable, and they tend to ignore hazards and take risks.
More and more students, and residents in general, are using bicycles as a form on transportation and recreation. On most roads, bicyclists have the same rights and responsibilities as vehicles, but bikes can be hard to see. The most common cause of collision is a driver turning left in front of a bicyclist. When passing a bicyclist, proceed in the same direction slowly, and leave 3 feet between your car and the cyclist. When turning left and a bicyclist is approaching in the opposite direction, wait for the rider to pass. If you’re turning right and a bicyclists is approaching from behind on the right, let the rider go through the intersection first, and always use your turn signals. Watch for bike riders turning in front of you without looking or signaling. Be extra vigilant in school zones and residential neighborhoods. Watch for bikes coming from driveways or behind parked cars. Check side mirrors before opening your door.
By exercising a little extra care and caution, we can all help ensure student get to school and back home safely.