News from the desk of Sheriff James Potter


"Have a Happy and Safe New Year"

Dear DeSoto County,

Happy New Year from the DeSoto County Sheriff’s Office staff. We want to remind you of some safety tips to keep in mind as you kick off the new year. We care about your safety and well-being at home, in the workplace, at school, in our community and on the roads as you travel back after the holidays.

As you head back home, make sure to take extra safety precautions while traveling on the roads for long distances. Avoid long drives if you are not completely prepared and alert. Bring along a passenger if it will help you stay focused. Your passenger can help you with directions, engage in conversation, and possibly take over the wheel if you start to feel tired. Don’t force yourself to make the long haul without stopping. Taking frequent breaks about every two hours will allow you to rest your brain, stretch your legs and use the restroom. Although driving may not be physically demanding, it can be mentally straining. Driver fatigue is a very real condition and should be taken seriously.

When arriving back home, it’s important to follow important safety tips to protect yourself and your family members at all times. The new year is a perfect time to think about home security improvements. So how can you upgrade home safety features? Start with the front door and secure your locks. Your front entrance should not only be visually appealing for visitors, but it should be secure. Did your family get new outside toys like a scooter or bike? Lock it up! Whether you decide to keep your new items inside or out, it’s important to keep it locked up and secure. And raise the alarm! There are many options for installing smart alarm systems or adding accessories such as smoke detectors, water leak sensors and smart plugs to ensure your home is protected against any disasters.

With kids spending more time on their new electronic devices after the holidays remember the internet can be a useful educational and entertaining tool, but it can also be dangerous to your children. Kids and young adults of all ages need parental guidance, and now is the time to be vigilant by involving yourself in their online interactions. Predators can locate young victims online through social media and virtual chat programs, and it’s often children receive solicitations over the computer and never inform their parents. Whether you choose to use a computer software for monitoring purposes is your personal family decision. DCSO is committed to protect children from crime and encourage you to do your part by talking to your kids about protecting themselves while using the internet.

When it comes to keeping yourself and your family safe, you can’t be too careful. Take the time to sort out what new safety tips you want to implement in your life this year. Be proactive by continually improving the ways you stay safe. Our mission is protect the public, and you too can help make a difference to protect DeSoto County.

Stay Safe, Be Kind, and God Bless.

Sheriff Potter