HAMPTON, New Hampshire – On Thursday, members of the New Hampshire Department of Safety, along with representatives from multiple local and state law enforcement and public safety agencies, discussed preparations and strategies that aim to ensure the safety and security of all New Hampshire residents and visitors during the upcoming summer season.
Safety Commissioner Robert L. Quinn and District 3 Executive Councilor Janet Stevens were joined at a media briefing by members of the Hampton Police Department, Hampton Fire Department, State Police, Marine Patrol, State Beach Patrol, Office of Highway Safety, NH 911, Fish and Game Department, and Department of Transportation. Safety measures and recommendations for beachgoers, drivers, boaters, swimmers and hikers were provided.
VIDEO: The media briefing can be viewed in its entirety on YouTube and Facebook.
Written statements from participants are below.
“We have begun to increase our patrol presence and have continued to collaborate with the New Hampshire State Police, New Hampshire State Parks and the Hampton Beach lifeguard staff to prepare for the increase of people and vehicles. We are also working with the New Hampshire Office of Highway Safety and their partners to conduct saturation patrols on our roads to keep motorists and pedestrians safe,” said Hampton Police Chief Alex Reno. “We will continue to work hard to maintain peace, order, and a safe environment so everyone can enjoy all we have to offer.”
“We look forward to welcoming our seasonal guests to Hampton Beach and want all to enjoy our community safely,” said Hampton Fire & Rescue Chief Michael McMahon. “Please exercise caution with smoking materials – planters, flowerpots, and other vegetation are not good places to dispose of cigarettes. Hampton has had several fires caused by improper disposal in recent years, resulting in significant property loss and injuries. Many of these fires originated on porches and decks. Porch fires can burn for a long time, undetected by occupants or interior smoke alarms, and are a major cause of fast-moving fires that can threaten densely built neighborhoods.”
“People come from around the world to come to Hampton Beach and to enjoy the Seacoast,” said Department of Safety Commissioner Robert Quinn. “We’re just asking for the public to work together with us – to enjoy this and obey the rules.”
“I am grateful for New Hampshire law enforcement – at the state, county, local level, and our Office of Highway Safety – for increased patrols on Route 125 following a recent series of crashes that took the lives of two of my constituents,” said District 3 Executive Councilor Janet Stevens. “Heading into the summer months, law enforcement throughout the state will be ramping up to enforce traffic safety and the laws of our state with the goal of protecting the public. Our law enforcement professionals can’t tackle this problem alone, every driver on our New Hampshire roadways needs to step up.”
“As you all know, New Hampshire is home to some very popular tourist spots. With that comes an influx of visitors from all over the world, especially during busy summer nights and large-scale events. These include Hampton Beach, the 100th anniversary of Motorcycle Week, NASCAR, the Thunder Over New Hampshire airshow, and the Seafood Festival, just to name a few.” said New Hampshire State Police Lt. Christopher Storm. “Here at the New Hampshire State Police, we understand the importance of keeping our citizens and visitors safe during these times. That is why we have implemented a comprehensive plan to support our local agencies in these popular tourist spots.”
“The New Hampshire Office of Highway Safety continues to collaborate with all of our law enforcement partners in an effort to reduce traffic crashes and eliminate fatalities,” said New Hampshire State Police Capt. Chris Vetter, who is currently assigned as the Commander of the New Hampshire Office of Highway Safety. “Our office funds patrol activities for state, local and county law enforcement directed specifically towards those that exceed the speed limit, drive distracted or operate a vehicle while impaired. We also encourage all vehicle occupants to utilize their seat belts, as this is the best way to avoid injury or death should you be involved in a crash.”
“Boating in New Hampshire has always been a popular activity, and in the last several years, it has become even more so with approximately 105,000 boats registered each year,” said New Hampshire State Police Lt. Dennis Wade, Commander of the Marine Patrol Bureau. “This does not include other watercrafts such as canoes, kayaks and some sailboats. Add in swimmers and tubers using our rivers, and others recreating on the lakes and rivers in our great state, and the waterways become very busy. With that, we ask that those using New Hampshire waters have fun, but most of all, be safe.”
“Hampton Beach has had coverage since May 1, Wallis Sands State Park will have coverage every day starting this weekend, and there will be full coverage of all State Park ocean beaches in early June,” said State Beach Patrol Chief Lifeguard Patrick Murphy. “Rip currents are always a danger area to be aware of when heading to any ocean beach. Ocean lifeguards are highly trained and help identify rip currents. Water temperature early in the season is also still quite cold, running currently in the high 40s and low 50s.”
“NHDOT has a very active construction program underway Statewide this summer,” said New Hampshire Department of Transportation Commissioner William Cass. “Our goal is to maintain traffic through work zones, minimize disruptions and keep people moving. We ask the traveling public to move over for yellow lights, slow down in work zones, pay attention, and follow the signs. We want everyone to get where they’re going and to return home safely and enjoy a beautiful time in New Hampshire.”
“With warmer weather ahead of us, New Hampshire’s approximately 40 Conservation Officers will be busy with search and rescue calls, wildlife calls, and off-highway recreational vehicle incidents,” said New Hampshire Fish and Game Sgt. Jeremy Hawkes. “This is in addition to their everyday law enforcement duties. Residents and visitors of our state can help alleviate these calls by following common sense procedures when recreating outdoors.”
“Emergencies can happen to anyone, anywhere, at any time, and 911 is always the number to know,” said Director Mark Doyle of New Hampshire 911. “Our team works around the clock to locate, communicate, and connect people in an emergency with the help they need. As always, call if you can, text if you can’t.”
SUMMER SAFETY REMINDERS:
- Alcohol is not permitted on Hampton Beach and fireworks are unlawful within the town of Hampton.
- Beachgoers should swim in areas where and when a lifeguard is on duty.
- While on lakes, ponds, and rivers in the state, Coast Guard-approved life jackets are always required for children under 13 years of age, and recommended for all ages, when underway aboard a boat, jet ski or other vessel. Additionally, operating a boat under the influence of drugs or alcohol is illegal and dangerous.
- Granite State residents can sign up for NHAlerts to monitor broadcast updates for communications regarding emergencies and severe weather.
- Hikers should dress appropriately and plan for a variety of situations, including encountering wildlife. Follow the guidelines found at hikesafe.com
- Smoking materials should be disposed of away from dry vegetation.
- Drivers should not exceed the speed limit, drive distracted or operate while impaired.
- New England 511 provides up-to-the-minute traffic and transit information.
- Anyone who experiences an emergency should contact 9-1-1 immediately. Call if you can, text if you can’t.