Name: Chief John Gielink
Department: Mentor-on-the-Lake Police Department, Mentor-on-the-Lake, Ohio
How does your agency distribute Project ChildSafe gun locks and safety materials in your community?
We are proud to feature Project ChildSafe locks and materials in a display box, located in the lobby of city hall, which is accessible to the public 24 hours a day, seven days a week. Additionally, we hold several events throughout the year during which we engage with the public. We find that talking to families about gun safety is critical to community safety.
Why does your department partner with Project ChildSafe?
Unfortunately, due to funding cuts to local government, we are always looking to do more with less. We always seek out opportunities to provide our residents with information and items to make their lives safer. We would not be able to provide free gun locks to our residents without this partnership with Project ChildSafe, and we have seen firsthand the impact it has on our residents.
How has access to free gun locks and safety materials impacted your community?
Some individuals in Mentor-on-the-Lake have at least one gun in their home. Many of those homes also have children. Some individuals can’t afford costly secure storage options to keep their weapons safe, and Project ChildSafe, in turn, provides a free solution through their locks and materials. This way, families can keep firearms safe from curious juveniles, at risk individuals and criminals, without a financial burden.
How can residents in your community and communities across the country become more involved in spreading the message of safety?
Help us raise awareness about gun safety both online and off. Children are naturally curious and smarter than some parents realize. Even storing a loaded gun on a high shelf or in a hidden drawer is an invitation to disaster. Talking to children and family members about gun safety and handling is key, and Project ChildSafe has great resources to help guide these conversations.