Local News

Rocky Mount officials request removal of city-owned addresses from Pokemon Go

Posted July 27, 2016 11:50 a.m. EDT
Updated July 27, 2016 11:34 p.m. EDT

— As Pokemon Go continues to grow in popularity, so do accidents caused by distracted gameplay. While officials in Rocky Mount say they have not had any incidents reported on city property, they are cracking down to ensure the public's safety.

“When the game was first released, there wasn’t any mechanism that would allow us to give any feedback to where the stops and gyms should or should not be located,” said Michael Baughn, property and risk manager for Rocky Mount. “Many of the places the game sends players to are just not safe for the public or for our employees.”

Baughn said places such as electrical substations, fire stations, the wastewater treatment plants and numerous other areas can cause safety issues, especially for distracted players.

“If we could assign where the stops are, I think it could be something the city could entertain,” said Baughn. “But without knowing where all the stops and gyms are, we cannot do our due diligence as required by law. The safety of our residents and employees is paramount for us.”

About 134 city addresses are on the requested removal list, including all parks, the Rocky Mount Sports Complex and the Imperial Centre for the Arts and Sciences.

"We have not had any accidents regarding Pokemon Go, but we wanted to take steps to make sure not accident do take place," said Tameka Kena-Norman, City of Rocky Mount public affairs manager.