Released by Tameka Kenan-Norman, City of Rocky Mount NC
The city of Rocky Mount advised the public last week about the intention to request the removal of 134 city-owned facilities, including parks, from the popular game, Pokémon Go. Due to safety concerns associated with public safety facilities and critical infrastructure, the city decided to take measures to ensure the public’s safety.
Some of those safety concerns included having Pokémon Go players at the city’s fire stations at 1:30am requesting station entrance to play the game. Every second counts when an emergency call is received by fire station personnel. Leaving players outside of the fire station is a risk which could result in injury to the public, or delay the roll out of fire personnel in an emergency.
Additionally, players have shown up at the wastewater treatment plants and electrical substations, all of which are hazardous areas and could cause injury to participants.
A review has been done of the city’s parks facilities, and the city will not pursue removal of its Pokémon sites, unless there is a specific hazard at the park.
“Our primary concern has always been to ensure the safety of our citizens,” says City Manager Charles Penny. “The city will continue to maintain restrictions for sites like electrical substations, wastewater treatment plants, the police station and the fire stations. We want citizens to enjoy and participate in the game and to safely connect with others, go outdoors and explore the community through our parks system. Citizens are asked to abide by park hours and to respect certain areas, such as cemeteries and memorial parks.”
According to Penny, the process for removal of a Pokémon site can take nine to 12 months; however, the city requests citizen cooperation in limiting their enjoyment of the game to city parks and locations throughout the city that do not subject the public to any safety hazards.