Pool Safety

Pool Safety

Since pool season is in full swing, I thought it would be appropriate to run this column again.



My children and their friends have been using the pool on a regular basis now that the warmer weather is here. I hear about so many pool related accidents and I was wondering if you could offer any suggestions on pool safety.



According to the U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC), nationally, drowning is a leading cause of death to children under five. Many of these accidents occur in residential pools. The key to preventing these tragedies is to have layers of protection. This includes placing barriers around your pool to prevent access, using pool alarms, closely supervising your child and being prepared in case of an emergency. To help ensure a safe and enjoyable summer, the Brockton Police Department offers some pool safety tips from the CPSC at www.cpsc.gov

  • Never leave a child unattended in or near a pool or spa and always watch your children closely around all bodies of water. Designate a Water Watcher to supervise children in the pool or spa. This person should not be reading, texting, using a smart phone or be otherwise distracted. Adults can take turns being a Water Watcher.

  • Teach children basic water safety tips.

  • Fences and walls should be at least 4 feet high and installed completely around the pool. Fence gates should be self-closing and self-latching. The latch should be out of a small child’s reach.

  • If your house forms one side of the barrier to the pool, then doors leading from the house to the pool should be protected with alarms that produce a sound when a door is unexpectedly opened.

  • A power safety cover, a motor-powered barrier that can be placed over the water area, can be used when the pool is not in use.

  • Keep rescue equipment by the pool and be sure a portable phone is poolside with emergency numbers posted. Knowing first aid and cardiopulmonary resuscitation (CPR) can be a lifesaver.

  • For above-ground pools, steps and ladders to the pool should be secured and locked or removed when the pool is not in use.

  • If a child is missing, ALWAYS look in the pool first. Seconds count in preventing death or disability.

  • Pool alarms can be used as an added precaution. Underwater pool alarms generally perform better and can be used in conjunction with pool covers. CPSC advises that consumers use remote alarm receivers so the alarm can be heard inside the house or in other places away from the pool area.

  • PARENTS AND GUARDIANS…ONLY YOU CAN PREVENT A DROWNING. Watch your child closely at all times. Make sure that doors leading to the pool area are closed and locked. Young children can quickly slip away and get into the pool if left unattended.

Diving injuries can result in quadriplegia, paralysis below the neck, to divers who hit the bottom or side of a swimming pool, according to CPSC. Divers should observe the following precautions:

  • Never dive into above-ground pools. They are too shallow.

  • Don’t dive from the side of an in-ground pool. Enter the water feet first.

  • Dive only from the end of the diving board and not from the sides.

  • Dive with your hands in front of you and always steer up immediately upon entering the water to avoid hitting the bottom or sides of the pool.

  • Don’t dive if you have been using alcohol or drugs because your reaction time may be too slow.

  • Improper use of pool slides presents the same danger as improper diving techniques. Never slide down head first – slide down feet first only.

Anyone with questions for the Chief’s Column may submit them by mail to the Brockton Police Department, 7 Commercial St, Brockton, MA 02302. You may also email your questions or comments to chief@brocktonpolice.com. Please include an appropriate subject line, as I do not open suspicious email for obvious reasons.

Brenda I. Pérez

Chief of Police

Social Media Safety

Social Media Safety


My children spend a lot of time on Facebook and it seems like they give out a lot of personal information. I know it continues to be quite the rage and they tell me that only friends can see their home page information but I’m still a little wary. Can you provide me with any safety advice for using Facebook?


It is no secret that Facebook is one of the top social networking sites in the world. According to information found on their site, Facebook has over 890 million active daily users worldwide and I think it would be safe to assume that some of these subscribers are not going online just to catch up with friends. Although Facebook does issue warnings to members to guard their privacy, many users post their personal information for everyone to see…everyone including individuals who commit identity fraud or use the site with less than honorable intentions.

To avoid being a victim, the Brockton Police Department would once again like to provide the following information posted by Facebook at http://www.facebook.com/safety/groups/parents.

What’s My Teen Doing on Facebook?

Just like adults, teens use Facebook to connect with friends through chat, personal messages and sharing photos, videos, links and other kinds of information. They use Facebook to announce achievements, wish each other a happy birthday and plan social events – like going to a movie or a friend’s house.

Who Can See My Teen’s Profile?

The only people who can see what teens post are their Facebook friends, friends of friends, and networks (like the school they attend). We maintain added protections and security settings for teens (age 13-17) that ensure their profiles and posts don’t show up in public search results. Similarly, if teens share their location through Places, only their Facebook friends can see it.

Start a Conversation

Parents don’t need to be social media experts in order to ask questions and begin an ongoing dialog with teens. Have conversations about safety and technology early and often, in the same way that you talk to your kids about being safe at school, in the car, riding public transportation or playing sports.

One of the best ways to begin a conversation is to ask your teens why services like Facebook are important to them. You might also ask them to show you how to set up your own Facebook profile so you can see what it’s all about. Discuss what’s appropriate information to share online and what isn’t. Ask them about privacy settings, and suggest that you go over them together, regularly. Set ground rules, and enforce them.

Learn from Your Teen

Today’s teens have grown up with the internet, cell phones and text messaging. Most don’t distinguish between being online or off. New technology has always been a part of their lives, so when we write it off as trivial or a waste of time, we criticize a big part of their social interaction. You probably know this already, but unless you’re really on top of social media, your teenager most likely knows more about it than you do. That’s OK. Don’t be afraid to ask your child to show you the ropes!

It’s About Respect

It’s also important to talk about the Golden Rule: treating others the way you want to be treated. This also applies to using new technologies. Make sure your teens know where to go for support if someone ever harasses them. Help them understand how to make responsible and safe choices about what they post because anything they put online can be misinterpreted or taken out of context.

Once You’re on Facebook…

If you have a Facebook profile, and have friended your child, try to respect the same boundaries you use offline. Let your relationship dictate how you interact. For example, whether you join a conversation among your child’s friends or if you post on their wall. Think of social media as a get-together at one of your child’s friends’ houses. You can give permission for your teen to attend, and even though you won’t be there to monitor their behavior, you trust your teen to have good judgment around peers and other parents. It’s all about balancing your teen’s growing independence and need for privacy with your safety concerns.

Learn the Lingo

Friends? Friends of Friends? Like? Poke? Wall? Learn what all these terms mean in the Facebook Help Center.

Tips for Parents

  • It can be tough to keep up with technology. Don’t be afraid to ask your kids to explain it to you.
  • Teach your teens the online safety basics so they can keep their Facebook profile (and other online accounts) private and safe.
  • Talk about technology safety just like you talk about safety while driving and playing sports.


Anyone with questions for the Chief’s Column may submit them by mail to the Brockton Police Department, 7 Commercial St, Brockton, MA 02302. You may also email your questions or comments to chief@brocktonpolice.com. Please include an appropriate subject line, as I do not open suspicious email for obvious reasons.

Brenda I. Pérez

Chief of Police

Vacation Safety While You Are Away

Vacation Safety While You Are Away


The kids are out of school and my family and I will be going away on vacation for a few weeks. Do you have any tips that will help keep potential burglars away while we’re gone?


Light, time and noise are a homeowner’s greatest weapons in the fight to prevent a home burglary according to the Insurance Information Institute. To keep potential burglars away from your home, the Brockton Police Department would like to once again offer these simple tips to follow before you go on vacation:

  • Examine your house from the street and make sure no valuables, like expensive electronics or artwork, are visible from the street. If a passerby can see your belongings, so can criminals.

  • Make sure to lock and fasten all doors and windows.

  • Secure sliding glass doors. Place a metal rod or piece of plywood in the track to prevent an intruder from forcing the door open.

  • Always lock the door to your attached garage.

  • Make it appear that you’re home. Use timers on lights, radios, and televisions. Turn lights on and off at certain times, altering lighting patterns, to create an occupied look.

  • Keep the perimeter of your home well lighted. You can do this by installing low-voltage outdoor lighting.

  • Never leave clues that you are away. Ask a neighbor to collect your mail and newspapers or ask for them to be held.

  • Never leave a message on your answering machine saying you are on vacation.

  • Trim the shrubbery near your home’s entrance and walkway. This prevents a would-be burglar from hiding in tall, bushy foliage.

  • If you have a home security system, make sure it is activated when you leave. The more difficult you make it for the intruder; the less likely he or she will be to pursue forcing their way into your home.

  • Get a trusted friend or relative to “house sit” or make sure your neighbors know your plans.

  • Leave a car parked in the driveway, or ask a neighbor to park in your driveway.

  • Leave a house key and a number where you can be reached with a trusted friend or neighbor.

  • Leave drapes and shades open as normal. (Closed blinds during the day are a sure sign of an empty house, and they allow a burglar to attend to his business unseen by neighbors.)

  • Arrange to have your lawn mowed if you’re going to be away for more than a week.

  • Replace any burned-out lights in your yard. Consider upgrading outdoor light fixtures with devices that have built-in motion detectors which turn on the lights whenever anyone walks past.

  • Know your valuables. It’s always a good idea to know what items of value you have in the house. Take detailed photographs of your valuables or better yet, take a video of your possessions to include jewelry, electronics, rare coins, antiques, etc. Be sure to capture distinguishing features on these items including serial and model numbers if applicable. With today’s cell phone photo and video capabilities, it’s easier than ever to inventory your possessions. Just be sure to keep the video in a safe place and not on the phone.

  • DON’T ADVERTISE that you are going to be away from home on Facebook, Twitter or any other social media site. Wait until you return home from vacation to post your photos on these sites.

If you plan on being away for more than a few days, please stop by the Brockton Police Department to request checks of your house while you are on vacation. We will need your name, address, date of departure and return, emergency contact numbers and any special conditions or circumstances we should be aware of while you are away.

Anyone with questions for the Chief’s Column may submit them by mail to the Brockton Police Department, 7 Commercial St, Brockton, MA 02302. You may also email your questions or comments to chief@brocktonpolice.com. Please include an appropriate subject line, as I do not open suspicious email for obvious reasons.

Brenda I. Pérez

Chief of Police

Annual Summer Celebration

Annual Summer Celebration

Thank you to the residents of the Pines Apartments and employees of Beacon Communities LLC for inviting us to their annual summer celebration. We mingled with parents and their children and provided a front-row seat to kids who wanted to see the inside of a police cruiser. We even chatted with on-site vendors, including MassHire Greater Brockton Workforce Board and City of Brockton Mayor Sullivan’s staff members. Each year, the Brockton Police look forward to breaking bread with PINES residents at their annual cookout and get-together. We’ll see you next year!



Brockton Families loved the 2nd Annual First Responder Jamboree, organized by Brockton Police and School Police. The Fairgrounds section of the festival was packed with people from all over the city.
The activities were fun for kids and parents alike. We played games, painted faces, and did other fun stuff.
Shaw’s Supermarkets was phenomenal! Shaw’s provided plenty of free food and beverages, making the event even more special. A big shout-out goes to the Carney Family, who supported the event by offering the venue these last two years.

And thanks to Lady C & J Cafe for offering patrons a taste of Soul Food at the Jamboree!

Our essential services also put on a great show. Brockton Firefighters, Brewster Ambulance personnel, and the Brockton Emergency Management Agency (BEMA) were present, highlighting their dedication to public safety. The Plymouth County Sheriff’s Department and local businesses also participated, emphasizing our unified effort to serve the city.
We were happy to have representatives from Mayor Robert Sullivan’s Office and the Plymouth County District Attorney’s Office, which reinforced the significance of our community gathering.
It shows the city’s commitment to building relationships between first responders and the community.
Overall, the 2nd Annual First Responder Jamboree hosted by Brockton Police and School Police exceeded all expectations. The event brought joy and unity to those in attendance while honoring the brave men and women serving and protecting our city.

It was a day filled with laughter, fun, and an appreciation for the vital services provided by our first responders. Thank you, Brockton Residents, for partnering with us to build strong relationships with the men, women, and children we promise to serve and protect.
And this is only possible with the help of our sponsors and partners listed below.

Shaws supermarket
North Easton Savings Bank
HarborOne Bank
Eastern Bank
Brockton Public Schools (Food Service and Facilities Dept.)
Brockton Water Department
Brockton Highway Department
City of Brockton
Lynch’s Recovery and Towing
Brockton Council on Aging
Medella Dental
Brockton Juvenile Probation
Plymouth County Hub
DICK’S Sporting Goods
Eastern Ice Company
Pinnacle Partnerships
First Responder Therapy Dogs
Brockton Community Schools
Chartwells K12
Brockton Fire and Life Safety
Brockton Fire Department
Brewster Ambulance Service
Massachusetts State Police
Brockton Area Transit Authority
Brockton Emergency Management Agency
Plymouth County Sheriff’s Office
Good Samaritan Medical Center
Boys & Girls Clubs of Metro South
Old Colony YMCA