A PROGRAM OF THE NATIONAL SHOOTING SPORTS FOUNDATION

Blog Archive, May 2016

May 27, 2016

Name: Bill Klundt, Community Resource Officer

Department: Bozeman Police Department

How does your agency distribute Project ChildSafe gun locks and safety materials in your community?

The Bozeman Police Department distributes Project ChildSafe gun locks and safety materials at community events. These materials are also available at the front counter of our Police Department. We invite all Bozeman-area residents to stop by the station during normal business hours and pick up a gun lock and firearm safety information. A few months ago we participated in Sportsman’s Warehouse’s “Ladies Night” event and saw the value these locks and safety materials have firsthand.

Why does the Bozeman Police Department partner with Project ChildSafe?

Montana has a positive gun culture and many of our residents have guns for hunting, sport, and personal safety.  We work with Project Childsafe to give citizens the chance to take a positive, affordable approach to making their weapons safe around not only their children but the children of others. 

How has access to free gun locks and safety materials impacted your community?

While we are unable to directly measure the impact, if the locks we have distributed save the life of a child or stopped a child from shooting another person accidentally, then it is a very positive impact.  It’s the stories you never hear about that are the successes.

How can residents in your in community and communities across the country become more involved in spreading the message of safety?

I think the Bozeman Police Department’s program of making the locks available raises awareness.  I have noticed many females asking for the locks now that more of them are carrying weapons for personal safety. These women may be first time gun owners and are eager for information and safety materials. They in turn can spread the message of gun safety message to family, friends and neighbors who also take the necessary precautions.

In addition to firearm safety, what are some of the best safety practices families can incorporate in their homes?

In general, people need to be aware of their surroundings and be ready to act if necessary.

Parents need to stress “Stranger Danger” with their kids and help them understand techniques that are used by predators.  They also need a “code word” when someone is going to pick a child up.  The child should be taught not to go with that person under any circumstances if they don’t know the “code word”.

We are constantly stressing for people to reduce temptation by locking their homes and vehicles. 

Everyone should learn CPR and the Heimlich maneuver.  They may save their own child.

People should take a look at their home through the eyes of a criminal regarding environmental design.  Are bushes providing hiding places near windows, do lights activate around dark areas, do you stop your paper and mail when going out of town?

May 16, 2016

Name: Wendy Smith, Crime Prevention & Community Programs Coordinator

Department: Rocklin Police Department, California

How does your agency distribute Project ChildSafe gun locks and safety materials in your community?

The Rocklin Police Department distributes Project ChildSafe gun locks and safety materials at community events. These materials are also available at the front counter of our Police Department. We invite all Rocklin-area residents to stop by the station during normal business hours, 9 a.m. to 5 p.m., and pick up a gun lock and firearm safety information.

Why does the Rocklin Police Department partner with Project ChildSafe?

We at the Rocklin Police Department partner with Project ChildSafe because we want to raise awareness about the safe and responsible ownership of firearms and the importance of securely storing firearms to help reduce accidents and access by children.

How has access to free gun locks and safety materials impacted your community?

We assume that every person, especially gun owners, has knowledge about gun safety, but that’s not always the case.  There are simple precautions every gun owner can take to make sure his or her firearms don’t pose a danger to children or the community. By providing materials and free gun locks we have been able to raise awareness, which in turn lowers the number of gun-related accidents.

How can residents in your community and communities across the country become more involved in spreading the message of safety?

It’s important to educate children about gun safety even if you aren’t a gun owner because children may go to a home where guns are present or they may come across a gun that has been discarded by a criminal. By educating children you give them knowledge that helps keep them safe. Many of our pre-schools invite us in to talk to kids about safety in general, and gun safety is one of the topics we cover. We also have volunteers that do grade-level presentations in our elementary schools about a variety of topics; one of which includes gun safety.

In addition to firearm safety, what are some of the best safety practices families can incorporate in their homes?

  • Set your water heater to 120 degrees Fahrenheit or lower to avoid scalds.
  • Make sure you have both a working smoke alarm and a carbon monoxide alarm on every level of your home, and in all sleeping areas. Test the alarms to make sure they work.
  • Put all medicine and vitamins up and away and out of sight, even medicine you take every day.
  • Create and practice a fire escape plan with your family. It is important to know two ways out of every room.
  • Store all household cleaning products, liquid laundry packets and chemicals in their original container and store up and away, out of children’s reach and sight.
  • Learn the Heimlich maneuver so you can respond quickly if your child chokes.
  • Learn CPR (even if it is Hands Only CPR)
May 3, 2016

Name: Capt. Matthew Doughney

Department: Flagler Beach Police Department, Florida

How does your agency distribute Project ChildSafe gun locks and safety materials in your community?

We distribute the gun locks in a few ways. We have them at the front desk so they are available anytime to people who want them. This summer we plan to join Flagler Beach’s “First Fridays” event series by setting up a booth to distribute gun locks in the community. First Fridays is hosted by the City of Flagler Beach and has music and entertainment all summer long on the first Friday of every month. It’s hosted right by City Hall and roughly 500-900 people show up to each event. We are always looking for ways to get into the area and spread the safety message.

Why does the Flagler Beach Police Department partner with Project ChildSafe?

Our partnership with Project ChildSafe is a natural fit. For example, how do you provide something to an individual who a) can’t afford it or b) doesn’t know where to go? Project ChildSafe helps answer both those questions. Isn’t this what we are supposed to be doing to keep communities safe from accidents? It is all about keeping kids safe, adults safe, because once that bullet goes out, it is never coming back.

How has access to free gun locks and safety materials impacted your community?

The other week, a gentleman who had seen our ad online came in and asked for gun locks. His grandkids were staying with him for the summer and he wanted to make sure they were safe in his home. With examples like these, how do you put a price tag on that gun lock? Making sure an accident never happens – you can’t put a price tag on that.

We try to promote the free gun locks on our website, on Twitter and Facebook, and through media releases. We want people to know they are available.

How can residents in your community and communities across the country become more involved in spreading the message of safety?

It starts here, at community events and in schools. Early education is key for both parents and children. In our community, residency doesn’t matter. We want to make our area and country safe. Safety does not stop at city limits and bad guys don’t understand or follow city lines. Neither do tragedies. Anyone is welcome to come to us and ask for gun locks, even if you are just here on vacation. Talk about it with your kids and your friends. Make sure they know what resources are available.

In addition to firearm safety, what are some of the best safety practices families can incorporate in their homes?

There are so many things families can do. Crime prevention through environmental design is a basic thing everyone should know. Making sure you have exterior lighting, alarms, having someone check up on your house when you are going away. These little things make a big difference. In terms of home safety, have your family run fire drills with key places to meet up in an emergency. A big issue in Florida is pools. If you have a pool or your child will be around them, make sure you have a gate, or even a fence alarm. Have your kids take swimming lessons and make sure they are always supervised when near water.

These are just a few things, but as a small department, we do the best we can to stay ahead of the curve and be as vigilant as we can be. This is why we are proud to partner with Project ChildSafe.