very year it seems like suddenly, before we expect it, we are in the midst of the holiday season. The stores are full of decorations, seasonal commercials appear and our calendars begin filling up. Whatever holidays you celebrate, whether Christmas or Chanukah or Thanksgiving, it is a season in which the pace of things picks up and many of us are busy planning events or family get-togethers. So, two things I want to convey to you. First, be safe as you go about your holiday activities. Be safe as you celebrate. Be especially safe as you drive. Do not drink and drive. Please do not let the pace of errands and events cause you to let down your guard when it comes to you being safe and your property being safe. While material things may not be the real purpose of the holidays, nonetheless many of us are more vulnerable to property crimes such as thefts, car prowls, fraud and scams during this time. Be alert. Take precautions and protect yourself. And please report property crimes as they occur. We can’t do anything about a crime unless we know about it. So, please be safe. And one other thing: Please be mindful of those around you. Take time to appreciate the people who are important to you and close to you – your family and your friends. Take time to appreciate those who you depend on at work or in the community or in businesses you frequent. The quality of our lives depends upon the work and support of other people. Sometimes we forget that their contributions sustain the world in which we live. Finally, I urge you to take the time to remember and offer help to those who are less fortunate. It is a time to consider contributions to food banks and to other charities. Looking out for others and contributing to charities is a hallmark of all the world’s great religions. In the Sheriff’s Department, we have several seasonal charities that the men and women of the Department actively support. They include Toys-For-Tots, Charlie’s Dinosaur, Santa Cops, and food drives. Our people contribute money but they also contribute their personal time and effort to these charities, which involve helping children and families. The greatness of America is based on two things. The first is that America creates an environment in which individuals can achieve great things. The second is that Americans stand up for one another; they are a generous people and are willing to make sacrifices to advance the common good. This is a time in which individuals should look out for their personal safety, the safety of their families and the safety of others. This is also a time when each of us can take time to acknowledge others and step forward to help those in need. So, please be safe. And please remember those in our community who might benefit from your help during the weeks ahead.