Memorial Day weekend is a great way to honor our military men and women who've made the ultimate sacrifice to protect our freedoms as Americans.

"I think we need to use Memorial Day weekend to pay homage for what it's for," Monmouth County Sheriff Shaun Golden said. "It's to recognize those who served and died for our country and gave us this great opportunity to enjoy the Jersey Shore for the summer."

Heading to the beach is great, especially on a hot sunny day with clear skies, but sunny or not, the surf is bound to get rough at times this summer and when it does...it's safety first.

Flags are out on the water for a reason so when you're out at the beach, Golden urges you to adhere their warning and if you don't know what the flag color means, just ask...and always practice safety first.

"Look for lifeguards on duty and when they're off duty, don't be tempted to swim," Golden said. "There are a lot of riptide currents that we deal with on different days and don't swim if the beaches are unattended and there's no lifeguards on duty."

If you're just spending the day by a lake or river, Golden advises you not to dive into the water.

With the unofficial start to summer kicking off this weekend at the Jersey Shore Law Enforcement wants you to have fun but be safe and be alert.

Whether it's Memorial Day weekend or anytime during the summer, if your eyes spot something suspicious that can harm others, Golden wants you to speak up.

"When we see the incidents that occur around the country, people have a sense about them and you need to act on that sense," Golden said. "When we say 'see something, say something', we add 'do something' to the end of that. We encourage our residents to report anything suspicious."

He says during the summer there's extra law enforcement around to keep an eye on things during the summer at tourist hot spots.

While it's also the unofficial beginning of summer, Golden wants you to have fun but also be responsible.

"Let's not drink while driving or while intoxicated and with the texting...please put down the phone and pay attention," Golden said.

He also asks drivers to use caution when behind the wheel this weekend and be patient with other motorists.

While you're out there spending time with family and friends this weekend, there are some other important safety tips to keep in mind.

For one, stay away from using fireworks.

"We live in a densely populated area where those things could go off and blow into another area that you didn't intend to have that blow into and then all of the sudden our fire departments are dealing with it," Golden said.

He asks Jersey Shore residents to be mindful of their surroundings and their neighbors.

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