Sheriff’s Office advice for Carnival parades through Mardi Gras: Have a plan and think safety

Posted: February 27th, 2014 | Filed under: Announcements, News Releases, Tips & Resources

Have a great time at parades celebrating Mardi Gras but think about your family’s personal safety and avoid being a crime victim while distracted by having fun, Sheriff James Pohlmann reminds parish residents.

“Have a plan and keep your mind on what you are doing – you may be in surroundings outside your comfort zone – and think about what you would do if there were any emergency,’’ Sheriff Pohlmann said.

“Watch where you park,’’ for a parade, he said. There have been scams where people who don’t own vacant lots take money to let you park there but “when you come back your car is gone because it was towed by the actual owner,’’ Also, if you don’t park in a legalspot your vehicle could be towed by authorities in that parish.

Make a point of leaving your wallet and jewelry home and bringing in a side pocket a little cash, a credit card and an I.D., making yourself less of a target to thieves, Sheriff Pohlmann said,

Tips to keep children safe:

The sheriff reminds parents and guardians to watch children carefully and never leave them unattended at a parade or Mardi Gras celebration.

“You know how easy it is to get seperated in a crowd,’’ Sheriff Pohlmann said. “Hold your children’s hands when walking in a crowd. It is just a fact you can’t get distracted by having fun yourself and forget – even for just a second- about your kids.’’

Also, “Make sure a child knows their name, cell phone number for a parent or guardian, and their address. If they do not, write it down on a card or piece of paper, place it in their pocket and make sure they know to find a police officer and give them this information if they become separated from you.”

Show them a near-by officer on the street or introduce them to the officer so a child knows an authority figure to go to if necessary.

Also, choose a spot for everyone in a group to know they should go to if anyone becomes separated.

Do not let children climb on top, over or under barricades, the sheriff said. If children are using ladders to see parades, make sure the ladder won’t topple over or get pushed over by a crowd and throw a child or adult under a float or other vehicle. To help do that, it is safest to place a ladder as far from the street curb as the ladder is high and always at least six feet from the curb.

Ask about other specific laws in another parish regarding parades, for example, in New Orleans parade-goers can’t rope off an area of public ground for themselves and their family or bring old furniture out on a parade route, such as a couch.