The Fourth of July brings thoughts of a family get-together and celebrating our great nation. As we take in this year’s Independence Day festivities at home, they may feel and look different, but it’s still a time to reflect on the meaning of this holiday. For many, it represents the birth of our nation, equality, democracy, and community. It is a picture of who we are and what we strive to become.
As issues of systemic racial and economic inequality remain at the forefront, we understand that some of our neighbors may be struggling to make sense of what the Fourth of July means to them. We are in this together. We must build momentum toward a more effective, equitable, and thoughtful approach to law enforcement, and continue conversations on systemic issues as a community.
As we begin to celebrate the nation’s Independence Day, I want to remind all of our residents to celebrate responsibly.
You can do your part by remembering the following:
- Help Stop the Spread: As the Fourth of July meets the current surge of COVID-19 cases in our region, the place you are safest is at home. As you gear up to celebrate the holiday this weekend with your household and venture out to pick up groceries or supplies yourself, make sure you practice social distancing, wear a mask, and wash your hands frequently.
- Don’t Drink and Drive: Drink responsibly and use designated drivers or ridesharing services. Report drunk drivers to law enforcement officials immediately.
- Celebratory Gunfire is Dangerous: It’s illegal and dangerous, and what goes up, must come down. Don’t risk injuring someone, killing someone, or damaging property.
- Remember Pets: Please consider bringing your pets indoors, as many pets are frightened of fireworks and may try to escape your yard to run from all the noise.
- Practice Water Safety: Drowning is the leading cause of accidental death in young children. You can significantly reduce this risk by following a few tips from the Judah Brown Project, which is led by HCSO Reserve Deputy Mark Brown:
- Learn to Swim: Swimming lessons can protect young children from drowning, but constant, careful supervision is still important.
- Supervise: Designate a responsible adult to watch young children playing in or around water.
- Learn CPR: In the time it takes for paramedics to arrive, your CPR skills could save someone’s life.
- Buddy System: Always swim with a buddy, and select a swimming site that has lifeguards when possible.
Help Stop the Spread
As COVID-19 cases continue to rise in Harris County at an alarming rate, we need to remain vigilant and protect ourselves and loved ones. Getting past this pandemic is a shared responsibility, and I’d encourage you to celebrate responsibly by staying home, wearing face masks when venturing out in public, and practicing social distancing.
Harris County Public Health encourages residents to get tested for the virus. Click here for more information about free testing. Please remember if you need help or advice dealing with the pandemic, visit readyharris.org or call 211. There are programs in place to assist with basic needs such as housing, food, and healthcare.
The Harris County Commissioners Court extended its disaster declaration through August 26, extending the mandatory mask order. The mask order mandates that businesses require patrons to cover their faces.
We all must have a heightened sense of awareness. The safety of our communities is a collaborative effort between our communities and law enforcement agencies. We are encouraging everyone to celebrate safely and to report anything out of the ordinary to law enforcement.
I’m optimistic this month will bring new opportunities for all of us. Let’s continue to work together and stay strong. Have a safe and enjoyable Fourth of July holiday weekend. God bless you, and God bless the Harris County Sheriff’s Office.