Name: Sergeant Stephen Johnston (twitter: @hpdjohnston)
Department: Hiram Police Department, Hiram, Georgia
How does your agency distribute Project ChildSafe gun locks and safety materials in your community?
We distribute Project Child Safe gun locks and safety material in the lobby of the Hiram Police Department Monday through Friday 8 a.m.- 5 p.m., as well as at all of our public safety outreach events.
Why does your department partner with Project ChildSafe?
We are proud to partner with Project ChildSafe due to its long-standing commitment to making communities safer – which is one of the Hiram Police Department’s core missions. As a small agency, we have limited funds, which prevents us from providing free gun locks and safety kits to our community. However, the partnership with Project Childsafe aids us in making this crucial safety device available for any member of our community or surrounding communities.
How has access to free gun locks and safety materials impacted your community?
It allows us to provide both the gun owners and their children with important safety information that will hopefully prevent any gun-related accidents in our community. Gun safety education is not always readily available to gun owners due to cost or lifestyle, and Project ChildSafe helps us fill this important gap in our community.
How can residents in your community and communities across the country become more involved in spreading the message of safety?
Early education is key. The sooner gun owners and community members can educate our youth and those new to handling firearms about safe practices, the better. We encourage our community members to follow us on social media (Facebook and Twitter) and share our safety-related content.
In addition to firearms safety, what are some of the best safety practices families can incorporate in their lifestyle?
- Take a personal safety course
- Always be aware of your surroundings
- Create safety plans with your family
- Learn CPR
- Install lighting and cameras on the exterior of your home
- Make sure you have a working smoke and carbon monoxide detector
- Make sure child passengers are properly restrained by a child safety seat