Somerville Police Remind Residents to Stay Safe While Playing Pokémon Go

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SOMERVILLE — Chief David Fallon and the Somerville Police Department would like to remind residents who are playing Pokémon Go to please do so safely and responsibly.

The increasingly popular smartphone app allows users to collect Pokémon characters in a simulated virtual world — tapping into the device’s GPS system to tracks where players are throughout the day. To catch Pokémon, users travel to different spots, locating creatures as they move up and down streets, through buildings and into their homes.

While no accidents or issues have been reported in Somerville due to Pokémon Go, numerous communities throughout the state and nation have documented incidents. Chief Fallon 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.

• 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, set guidelines for children. Limit where they can go in your neighborhood and remind them to never interact or go anywhere with strangers.

“We recognize that, for many, Pokémon Go is a fun, interactive game that encourages users to go outside and walk around,” Chief Fallon said. “While doing so, we remind community members to always focus on what’s in front of them, and to never go anywhere the public isn’t normally allowed. We would hate to see someone get injured because of this game.”

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