GIRARD, Ohio (WKBN) – Pokemon Go is the new mobile game that’s bringing people of all ages together and taking them outdoors. However, police are urging gamers to be cautious and aware of their surroundings.
The app has seen nearly 15 million downloads in just the last week. It uses a GPS locator to find the player’s location and lead them to other destinations.
Since the app involves walking to specific locations while looking down at a cell phone, police are reminding people to be careful.
“People texting and driving, it’s the same concept. If you’re walking around in stores or you’re on a roadway, it’s the same difference as walking, or riding a bike or running,” said Poland Police Chief Brian Goodin.
Even though there is a warning on the game’s screen reminding people to pay attention, there have still been instances of people getting hurt while playing. A 15-year-old in Pennsylvania was hit by a car on Tuesday while crossing a busy highway.
“If they’re going to another area that they’re not familiar with, you would hope they’d be a little conscientious to their surroundings. That they’re not walking into a bad area, on the roadways or anything like that,” Goodin said.
Groups of gamers have been popping up all over the country. Players say the game encourages them to be active outside and spend time with friends.
The First United Methodist Church in Girard is an intersection for three special spots in the game. The church put out a table of refreshments for people playing.
Police say players should travel in groups, if possible. They are also asking parents to be mindful of where their child is going.