PCS PARTNER PROFILE: WENDY SMITH
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)