St. Bernard Sheriff’s Office promotes boating safety

Posted: May 24th, 2021 | Filed under: Arrested, Safety, Uncategorized | Tags: , , , , ,

St. Bernard Sheriff’s Office promotes boating safety

With Memorial Day approaching, and COVID-19 restrictions being eased, summer fishing and boating will be kicking into high gear on St. Bernard Parish waterways, and St. Bernard Sheriff James Pohlmann is reminding residents to practice safety while on the water.

“There will be a lot of boats out there, especially on holiday weekends like the Fourth of July and Labor Day so be careful, slow down and learn and obey the rules of boating safety,’’ Sheriff Pohlmann said. “Don’t speed and pay attention to your surroundings. Operate with caution.”

Sheriff Pohlmann also stresses the importance of continuing to practice social distancing when on the water, at boat launches and around docks in an effort to further prevent the spread of COVID-19.

The Sheriff also reminds boaters that everyone on board should be wearing a personal flotation device, or life jacket.

“They are available at sporting goods and department stores,” the Sheriff said. “Everyone should be able to find one that fits.’’

With holiday celebrations, also comes the chances of people drinking while operating watercraft. Sheriff Pohlmann reminds residents people can be arrested for drinking and driving on a boat, just as they would be while operating an automobile on land.

Alcohol is a primary cause in nearly 25 percent of all fatal boating accidents nationally, Sheriff Pohlmann said. Statistics also show nearly 90 percent of the boating accidents recorded involve someone who hasn’t successfully completed a safe boating class.

Residents interested in taking a boating course can do so for free. Information can be found on the Louisiana Department of Wildlife and Fisheries web site under the education section. Other state-approved safe boating courses can be found at

Capt. Brian Clark, a retired state Wildlife and Fisheries agent who heads the Sheriff’s Office Marine Division, agrees with Sheriff Pohlmann about the necessity of everyone on board wearing flotation devices, especially children.

“It’s required that anyone 17 and under wear a flotation device at all times when a boat is in motion and recommended that adults wear them also,’’ Clark said. Drowning remains the biggest cause of fatalities on the water and a life jacket being worn could save a life, he added.

“Some boaters used to resist them because they were bulky and made it hard to get around on a boat,” Clark said, “but the ones made today are lightweight and easy to use.”

Before leaving on a trip, Clark recommends informing someone of where you will be going, and approximately when you expect to return.

“Telling someone what your plans are will let them know if you are overdue so they can inform authorities,” Clark said.

Besides flotation devices, Clark said other basic rules for safety include a check of equipment before taking off. He also reminds boaters, if you have a kill switch on the motor, remember to use it if necessary.

Clark said remember to bring important items such as a cell phone and charger, a fire extinguisher, a flashlight, proper clothing, enough food and water for a trip, a safety kit, sunscreen, sunglasses to guard against glare and a device that can be thrown to aid anyone who needs help in the water.

Clark also recommends staying properly hydrated.

“Drink liquids,” he said. “Don’t let yourself get dehydrated because the sun will take a lot out of you and slow your reaction time.”

For more on state boating and life jacket regulations visit


SBSO offers holiday safety tips with the holiday season

Posted: November 28th, 2018 | Filed under: News Releases | Tags: , ,

St. Bernard Sheriff’s Office offers holiday safety tips


With the holiday season in full force, many of us will find ourselves rushing from place to place, making lists, and stressing over finding the perfect gift for that special loved one. Busy schedules, holiday parties and heightened stress can leave us distracted and not aware of our surroundings causing us to become easy targets for criminals, St. Bernard Sheriff James Pohlmann said.

Whether you’re shopping in the parish or elsewhere during this holiday season, Sheriff Pohlmann urges St. Bernard Parish residents to take extra precautions to avoid becoming a victim of theft or robbery.

“Remember to pay close attention to your surroundings when doing holiday shopping,’’ the Sheriff said. “It’s possible someone may be watching to take advantage of you because you’re distracted.”

Since the holidays are a time when people often let their guard down because they’re on the go, Sheriff Pohlmann said, “Remembering some common sense safety tips can reduce the chances of something going wrong.”

The Sheriff recommends shopping with a buddy or in a group, but if you must go alone, be aware of your surroundings and follow these simple tips:

Pay attention to where you park while shopping and, at night, park only in areas that are well-lit. Always try to park as close as possible to the store’s entrance, and remember to lock your vehicle doors. Taking a photo of where you parked with your cell phone also is helpful in case you forget.
Once in a store, men should protect their wallets from pickpockets and women should remember not to leave their purses unattended in shopping carts or on counters where they can easily be taken.
Always escort young children to a restroom because minors could be photographed, molested or even abducted if left alone in public restrooms.
When shopping in a large store or mall, establish a meeting place with children in advance in case you become separated or instruct them to go only to a store clerk or security officer for help, and not to a stranger who doesn’t work in the store.
Scan the parking lot before you exit a store for any suspicious activities, such as people standing in a group in one area or someone sitting in a vehicle watching patrons leave. If you sense something odd, you may want to ask a store officer to escort you to your vehicle.
When leaving a store, always exit from a door nearest your parked vehicle. Before heading to your vehicle, have your keys out and in your hand ready to enter your vehicle. Don’t wait until you reach your vehicle to start looking in your purse or pockets for your keys.
It’s a good idea to walk around your car and look inside it when you are in a crowded parking lot. Checking the inside of your vehicle before you enter it could prevent you from unexpectedly finding someone waiting in the vehicle to rob you.
Once inside your vehicle, lock the doors immediately before leaving your parking space. Avoid sitting in your vehicle, and doing things like talking on the phone or looking at social media. Leave the parking lot as soon a possible.
If you are making several stops while shopping, place your packages in your trunk or out of plain sight inside your vehicle. Leaving valuable items visible only provides a temptation to thieves.
If you suspect someone is following you, do not go home or pull over. You should remain calm and drive to a crowded place or a nearby Sheriff’s Office substation for assistance.
Once home, unload your packages immediately. Do not store valuables in your car any longer than necessary, and certainly never overnight.

The Sheriff also urges residents to call the Sheriff’s Office at (504) 271-2501 if they see something suspicious or 911 if they feel they’re in immediate danger. It is better to be safe than sorry.

Sheriff Pohlmann wishes everyone a safe and happy holiday season.