Chief McManus Shares Holiday Safety Tips

December 24, 2018

The Roosevelt Island Operating Corporation announced that, Public Safety Department Chief Jack McManus, is taking time off to deal with health-related issues. In the interim, Deputy Chief Kevin Brown will assume McManus’ responsibilities. 


Brown, with the microphone, and McManus, to the left address celebrants at the RIOC Tree Lighting earlier this month


Just the Facts with Chief Mac


The holiday season is always a special time. It is also a time when busy people become careless and vulnerable to theft, accidents and other holiday crimes. Here are a few of my tips for staying safe, sane and knucklehead free. 


  • The top three days for potential home candle fires are Christmas, New Year’s Day, and Christmas Eve (let’s add in the Hanukkah and Kwanzaa weeks as well for our Jewish and African Americans friends). Please keep flammable items, including curtains and holiday decorations, at least three feet away from your candles. Place your menorah or kinara on a non-flammable surface to catch the melting candle wax, such as a tray lined with aluminum foil. Never leave lit candles unattended.

  • Keep all your car doors locked and windows closed while in or out of your car.  If you must shop at night, (hello procrastinating husbands and boyfriends) park in a well-lit area. Do not leave packages or valuables on the seat of your car. This creates temptation for thieves. 

  • Even though you may be rushed and preoccupied by a thousand things, remember to stay alert to your surroundings. Exercise extra caution if you carry a wallet or purse; they are the prime targets of criminals in crowded shopping areas, New York City subways, bus and ferry terminals and stops. 

  • Don’t overload yourself with packages and bags of gift purchases; make two trips if you must. Beware of strangers approaching you for any reason. Con-artists may try to distract you with the intention of swindling your hard-earned money or belongings. 

  • Large displays of holiday gifts should not be visible through the windows and doors of your home. Show-offs get ripped off. 

  • If you’re hosting a party, be kind and responsible by having non-alcoholic beverages available to your guests. Arrange for an official designated driver (who will not drink at all) for the party before it begins. Eat before you drink; preferably high protein foods that slow the absorption of alcohol into your body. Know your limits, the holidays are not the time to explore them. And please don’t drink and drive. 

PSD Chief Jack McManus


McManus says, "I hope you guys enjoyed my first column. Also thank you dearly for your calls and messages of support for me. My wish is that all of Roosevelt Island’s residents, business people, professors, students – and my staff and colleagues at the Roosevelt Island Operating Corporation (RIOC) have a happy holiday and an even better new year.” 

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