“Protect and serve” can also mean prevent and be proactive.
The Greenville Police Department is doing its part to prevent gun fatalities by giving away Child Guard Gun Locks for firearms starting Tuesday at the GPD front desk, 216 Main St.
“This is our effort to promote community and public safety,” Chief Marcus Turner said.
The gun locks, which were purchased through a grant GPD received, will be given away until the last one is gone.
And, according to Major Misty Mew, the department has roughly 800 ready for distribution.
“Most important is gun safety and preventing accidental shootings, especially if they fall into the hands of children,” Mew said, noting gun safety could also prevent a child from suicide. “But in those same terms, if that weapon has a gunlock on it and is secured in the home, in the event of a burglary, it can prevent that firearm from being stolen and getting into the hands of someone that shouldn’t have it.”
According to a February 2020 Le Bonheur Children’s Hospital news release on gun safety practices, half of all unintentional shootings are committed by children and teenagers.
At the time of the release, there had been at least 257 unintentional shootings by children, resulting in 106 deaths and 158 injuries.
“Gun violence has a devastating impact on children in America — 40 percent of child gun deaths are suicides and over 80 percent of children under the age of 18 who died by gun suicide used a gun belonging to a parent or relative,” the new release stated.
Part of Turner and Assistant Chief Kenneth Redfield’s strategy to make the community safer by providing education to young people and parents.
Turner also asserted their aim is to operate from the standpoint of being more “proactive than reactive” and essentially, inspire accountability.
GPD is asking those who are interested to remember to wear their masks and note there is a limited number of people allowed in the police department at a time.