The Oakland County Board of Commissioners honored National Safety Month with their annual Gun Safety Awareness press conference to discuss gun violence prevention methods and to launch a brand new webpage dedicated to school safety. Commissioner Tom. J. Berman welcomed a group of law enforcement officials, safety advocates, and fellow commissioners to the press conference in his opening remarks, emphasizing the importance of responsible gun ownership in preventing gun violence.
“Thank you for joining us for National Safety Month and to discuss the measures we can all take to help reduce the risk of gun violence in homes, communities, and schools.”
Oakland County Sheriff Michael J. Bouchard highlighted gun trigger locks and how they are a quick and efficient way of preventing gun violence. He gave the audience a demonstration on how quick and easy it is to secure firearms with a trigger lock.
“We encourage people to take this kind of step when they’re leaving a weapon out of their custody and control to make sure that we don’t have tragedies or we don’t have weapons fall into the hands of a criminal and be used against somebody in the immediate offing.”
“Providing a safe school environment for every student in Oakland County is critical now more than ever and is something every child deserves,” said Oakland County Commissioner Janet Jackson as she expanded upon the Sheriff’s point about gun locks. She shared information about the Gun Lock Giveaway, an initiative started in partnership with the Board of Commissioners and the Oakland County Sheriff’s Office in 2014. Local police departments across the county have gun locks, donated by The National Shooting Sports Foundation‘s (NSSF) Project ChildSafe initiative at no cost to the taxpayer, to give out to the public free of charge.
Jackson also discussed the brand new School Safety Resource Webpage. A collaboration between the Oakland County Health Division, the Oakland County Sheriff’s Department, and Oakland Schools to provide information about a multitude of issues related to school safety.
“Here, you will find important information on youth suicide prevention, active shooter preparation, and anti-bullying resources,” Jackson explained. “We have also included links to resources for programs related to mental and emotional health, dating violence prevention, social media safety, and more.”
The press conference also highlighted the importance of recognizing the link between mental health and gun violence. Leigh-Anne Stafford, Oakland County Public Health Officer expanded on this important issue.
“Suicide is a significant public health issue and often gets overlooked when discussing gun violence,” Stafford said. “It is the second leading cause of death among youth ages 10-24 on a national, state, and local level. Suicide makes up nearly 2/3 of all gun deaths in the United States.”
Gun violence is preventable Stafford said and communities can work together on providing a safe environment for everyone.
Members of the public can obtain a free gun safety lock from participating local law enforcement agencies while supplies last. To view the list of participating local law enforcement agencies, please click here or call the Board of Commissioners office at 248-858-0100. For more information about NSSF’s Project ChildSafe, please go to www.ProjectChildSafe.org.
For additional information regarding the gun and school safety efforts of the Oakland County Board of Commissioners or the Study Group on Gun Violence, visit http://www.oakgov.com/boc .
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