People are being warned to be very careful when skating on area ponds or lakes this time of year.
The ice you see on the lakes may be far from being thick enough, especially when venturing out from shore. Educate yourself as to what the minimum ice thickness needs to be before you try skating on the lakes. Tragedies occur each year because of people going through thin ice.
With the holiday season comes opportunities for crime, most notably thefts from homes, vehicles and businesses as thieves look for cash and property.
Secure any donation receptacles, if possible, and empty them often. Lock your vehicles and keep purchased items out of sight while shopping. Lock doors and windows and use the alarm system that you stopped using three months after it was installed, to keep thieves from raiding your presents under the tree.
Fraud artists and persons passing counterfeit money are always a problem this time of year. Business owners need to secure and check their pin pads prior to closing and first thing upon opening, to ensure they are the correct ones and that they have not been tampered with.
Staff should check larger bills to ensure they are not counterfeit by checking the built in countermeasures (intaglio-raised ink, holograms, fine detail, alignment of split images, etc.) Customers need to protect their pin numbers and shield them from prying eyes. Check your bank and credit card statements often and report any purchase anomalies immediately.
The RCMP will be out in force, with enhanced policing measures and strategies this holiday season.
Roadchecks will happen anywhere, any time so do not drink, do drugs, or take medications with impairing side effects and drive.
When the snow falls, please adjust your driving behaviors starting with your timing. Plan to give yourself more time to go from place to place. More time means less stress and less chance of collision.
Finally, take the time to wish others the best of the season. A smile changes everything.
By Cst. Steve Holmes