News from the Desk of Sheriff James F. Potter

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Sheriff Potter here,

Happy Independence Day, DeSoto County. While each of you enjoys the day’s festivities, please know that your DeSoto County Sheriff's Office Deputies are out on the road, Telecommunicators are answering your calls, and our Detention Deputies are keeping an eye on everyone in the jail. Your safety is our priority today and every day of the year.

As we celebrate our nation's independence, I would like to take a moment to stress the importance of firework safety. Did you know a sparkler burns at about 2,000 degrees? According to the Consumer Product Safety Commission (2020) Firework Annual Report, 18 individuals were killed by fireworks, and an estimated 15,600 were injured and treated in emergency rooms.

Please remember these tips when celebrating this holiday and any other holiday where you would use fireworks:

  • Never allow children to play with or ignite fireworks
  • Never try to re-light or pick up fireworks that have not ignited fully
  • Keep a bucket of water or a garden hose handy in case of fire or other mishaps
  • Make sure fireworks are legal in your area before buying or using them
  • Light fireworks one at a time, then move back quickly

For more information on firework safety and the current laws pertaining to fireworks, please visit the following links:

Consumer Product Safety Commission -
National Safety Council -
Florida Statutes -

Celebrate safely, DeSoto County, and let's not forget the meaning of this great holiday. In 1776 the Declaration of Independence was signed, designating the separation of the original 13 colonies from Great Britain. Today we celebrate this day representing the core of our Republic's beliefs in its liberty, freedom, and rich history. Happy Independence Day!

God Bless the United States of America,

Sheriff "Jim" Potter