Nov 17

Tips to Prevent Doorstep Thieves This Holiday Season

Posted on November 17, 2015 at 2:20 PM by Jim Spinney

As the holiday season rapidly approaches, the Chelmsford Police Department and I would like to remind residents to be vigilant when ordering gifts online by following several easy steps to prevent doorstep theft.

Never put yourself in a position where your gift orders are going to be at risk. Every year around this time we see an increase in packages taken from homes after they're delivered. We would hate to see anyone lose a valuable purchase because someone was not home to retrieve it on time.

FedEx and UPS offer services to assist customers. To ensure packages are not stolen, consider:

• Requesting a signature on your deliveries, especially those of high value, so they are not left unattended. You can also give specific instructions on where to leave a package so it is not left in a visible spot.

• Signing up for an email alert that will notify you when your delivery is set to arrive.

• Choosing an alternative destination -- either at work or at a family member's, friend's or neighbor's house where someone will be home to receive the delivery.

• Re-directing packages, even if they're already on their way. Send them to your closest FedEx or UPS office, or another secure location.

• Setting up a vacation hold if you'll be away during the holidays so gifts will not be delivered to an empty house.

If you arrive home to find your package has been stolen, immediately report it to police. However, if the item was not insured, the chances of receiving it back are slim.

Residents should NEVER accept a surprise package or gift where a payment is required. Additionally, do not give out any personal information when retrieving a delivery if you initiated the purchase.

Stay Safe,
Chief James M. Spinney

Oct 15

Halloween Safety Tips

Posted on October 15, 2015 at 8:06 PM by Jim Spinney

As Halloween draws closer,the Chelmsford Police Department and I would like to remind residents to consider the following safety tips during fall festivities, especially for those who plan on trick-or-treating or who will be out at night.

Halloween, which is celebrated on Oct. 31, falls on a Saturday this year. Trick or Treating hours in Chelmsford are 6PM-8PM this year.

The Centers for Disease Control provides best practices for Halloween trick-or-treaters by asking that people follow the "Safe Halloween" motto.

Swords, knives and other costume accessories should be short, soft and flexible.

Avoid trick-or-treating alone. Walk in groups or with a trusted adult.

Fasten reflective tape on costumes and bags to help drivers see you.

Examine all treats for choking hazards and tampering before you eat them.

Hold a flashlight while walking to ensure that you are visible. Walk and don’t run from house to house.

Always test make up in a small area first. Remove it before bedtime to prevent  possible skin and eye irritation.

Lower your risk of serious eye injury by not wearing decorative contact lenses.

Look both ways before crossing the street. Use established crosswalks wherever  possible.

Only walk on sidewalks wherever possible, or on the far edge of the road facing traffic to stay safe and to prevent accidents or injury.

Wear well-fitting masks, costumes and shoes to avoid blocked vision, trips and falls.

Eat only factory-wrapped candy. Avoid eating homemade treats offered by strangers.

Enter homes only if you’re with a trusted adult. Only visit well-lit houses. Don’t accept rides from strangers.

Never walk near lit candles or devices with open flames. Be sure to wear flame-resistant costumes.

Those who are planning on attending a party in or out of town should remember:

• Many young children are out for the evening, especially during the peak hours of 5:30-8:00 p.m., so drive slowly!

• Not to drive a vehicle while wearing any sort of mask. Your visibility could be obscured.

• Have a designated driver if attending an adult Halloween party where alcohol is served.

If there are any concerns on safety please contact the Chelmsford Police Department at 978-256-2521.

Stay safe,
Chief Spinney

Aug 21

Back to School Safety Tips

Posted on August 21, 2015 at 9:50 AM by Jim Spinney

  As summer winds down, the Chelmsford Police Department would like to remind the community of several safety practices when transitioning into the new academic year.

 The new school year begins Sept. 2 for Chelmsford Public Schools.

 The start of a new school year is an exciting time for students and parents alike, and we want to make sure that everyone starts the new year off on a safe note. By following these simple safety tips, we can all help ensure that everyone in our communities remains safe and healthy on the way to school, at school, and on the way home in the afternoon.

 The Massachusetts Department of Public Health (DPH) reports that approximately 400,000 students in the state are transported to school by buses every year. While school bus travel is generally very safe, the majority of related injuries occur when boarding or exiting a bus because of passing traffic or due to walking in one of the bus driver's blind spots. Children ages 4 to 7 are at the highest risk of injury.

 • Educate children on safe bus riding and walking behaviors when getting on and off the bus.

 • Teach young children to take five giant steps (10 feet) in front of the bus and to wait for the driver's signal before crossing.

 • Develop appropriate bus pick-up/drop-off policies.

 • Closely supervise children under age 10 who must cross the street after exiting the bus.


Yielding for the school bus is not optional, We aggressively pursue any motorist who fails to respect the flashing red lights, which indicate a little one is getting on or off the bus.

 The fine for illegally passing a school bus is a maximum of $200, and repeat offenders may have their licenses suspended.

 Additionally, before sending your child off to school in the morning, Chelmsford Police recommend checking backpacks to make sure they are a tolerable weight. The American Chiropractic Association advises that backpacks should weigh no more than 10 percent of a student's body weight, as heavy pressure can negatively affect the skeletal and muscular development in children.

 If walking to school, or when exiting the bus, parents and guardians should educate students about safely crossing the street. The Massachusetts Department of Public Health reports that pedestrian injuries are the second leading cause of unintentional injury death among school-aged children 5 to18 years old.

 Most injuries to children in kindergarten through third grade occur when they run into the street mid-block, while older students are most often hurt at intersections. To prevent potential tragedies, children should

 • Be aware of pedestrian hazards and how to avoid them

 • Know traffic signs and signals, and safe walking zones

 • Wait for the "walk" signal at a crosswalk, or for a crossing guard to signal the OK to proceed into the street

 Thank you and stay safe.....
Chief James M. Spinney