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CONTACT: Peter Van Delft
SHERIFF TOMPKINS LENDS SUPPORT TO BOSTON’S GUN BUYBACK PROGRAM
Suffolk County Sheriff Steven W. Tompkins recently visited Dr. Loesch Family Park in Dorchester to join Boston Mayor Martin Walsh, the Boston Police Department’s Commissioner William Evans and Superintendent In–Chief William Gross, and a host of clergy members, community activists and residents in support of the City of Boston’s new gun buyback program, “Your Piece for Peace.”
Launched as part of a three–pronged strategy to reduce violence in Boston’s neighborhoods, Your Piece for Peace is a “no questions asked” program that encourages individuals with firearms to dispose of them without fear of repercussions in the form of illegal gun possession charges.
For every working gun brought back – unloaded, in a clear plastic bag that is placed into another container such as a backpack or gym bag and transported in the trunk of a car – a $200 Visa gift card will be given to the individual delivering the weapon.
Along with the gun buyback program, Mayor Walsh also announced a future regional summit on gun trafficking and a ramped–up initiative to provide more jobs for youth, both for summer and long–term.
“We’re here united with the goal of making our neighborhoods, homes and children safe,” said Mayor Walsh. “We’re here to launch this 2014 gun buyback program because removing guns from our communities is at the heart of violence prevention. Every gun turned in is, potentially, a life saved.”
“But, we’re not just launching a single program,” Mayor Walsh continued. “The [summit] will target illegal trafficking of crime guns, one of the primary threats to the safety of our neighborhoods across this country. In the absence of federal action to close dangerous loopholes that allow criminals easy access to guns, we must take action regionally to confront this problem head on.”
During introductions at the event, Mayor Walsh recognized Sheriff Tompkins for doing an “Awful lot of great work on reentry, [which] is one of the pieces helping us to get ahead of the violence in City of Boston.”
Speaking at the conclusion of the event, Sheriff Tompkins returned the sentiment and offered his take on the program.
“I’ve known Mayor Walsh for a while now, since before he became Mayor, and I know that he is truly committed to the people of Boston and to their safety and wellbeing,” said Sheriff Tompkins. “This program, coupled with the other initiatives spoken about earlier, will help to reduce the number of guns in our communities and potentially save lives. But, the community has to take an active role in supporting this and other anti–violence strategies for us to have the greatest impact.”
At the close of its first day of deployment, the Your Piece for Peace program had already netted 25 guns.
The program will run Mondays through Fridays, from 12:00 p.m. to 7:00 p.m. at numerous drop–off sites around the city. For more information about the “Your Piece for Peace” gun buyback program or for a listing of drop centers, visit: www.bpdnews.com/bgb/.