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?