You can catch them in the park, you can catch them in the mall, and yes, you can even catch them at the police department. What are we referring to…. Hitmonchan and Pikachu! Pokémon Go is in full swing within the City of Fort Myers. And while we realize you have to catch them all, the Fort Myers Police Department wants you to stay safe while having fun. And while people of all ages are chasing down Rattatas, the popular game is raising some concerns for security and personal safety.

Law enforcement agencies across the nation are reporting an increase in accidents and criminal activity involving gamers. Trespassing, pedestrian and vehicular accidents, serious personal injury and even death have been reported in relation to the game. Reports of criminal activity against gamers have also been reported throughout the country.

The Fort Myers Police Department is asking children and adults to please be mindful of their surroundings at all times and remember these safety tips:

• Be alert at all times
• Stay aware of your surroundings
• Play in pairs or as a group to ensure your safety
• Do not drive or ride your bike, skateboard, or other device while interacting with the app…you can’t do both safely
• Do not trespass onto private property or go to areas you usually would not if you weren’t playing Pokémon Go
• Be aware and tell your kids about “stranger-danger”. The app may draw strangers together in real life at ‘Pokéstops’
• Parents – be aware of 3rd party software apps claiming to enhance the gaming experience however, these 3rd party apps only gives access to sensitive data – i.e. name, email, calendar
Have fun AND stay safe. Good luck in your quest, and happy hatching, trapping, and training at the Pokémon Gym!

Jay J. Rodriguez
Lieutenant, Special Operations Bureau
Fort Myers Police Department
2210 Widman Way
Fort Myers, Florida 33901