Everett’s free gun locks are aimed at weapon thefts

More than 100 were reported stolen last year. The locks are part of an anti-gang-violence initiative.

One of the gun locks Everett police are distributing. (City of Everett)

One of the gun locks Everett police are distributing. (City of Everett)

EVERETT — More than 100 guns were reported stolen in Everett last year.

Many of those were swiped from underneath drivers’ seats or from the tops of dressers and nightstands, Police Chief Dan Templeman said.

He sees it over and over in officers’ reports and recaps. Those firearms often get linked to gang activity or accidental injuries.

“They end up in the hands of the wrong people,” he said.

On Wednesday, Templeman announced the start of one of several new programs meant to address youth and gang violence. They fall under a mayoral directive by Cassie Franklin as part of the five executive orders she issued after taking office in January.

The Everett Police Department on Wednesday began offering free gun locks at its downtown office, soon to be followed by the precinct on Everett Mall Way. The campaign is called Lock It Everett.

The chief also hopes to bring firearm dealers on board to provide safety information packets during every sale in the city. The packets would encourage responsible gun storage, including using safes and keeping ammunition in a separate spot. Those conversations are ongoing, he said.

With a free lock and five extra minutes, gun owners can prevent incidents that could cause them “a lifetime of regret,” he said.

Other elements of the youth violence directive include parterning with schools and nonprofits, launching a gang response unit with six officers and bringing together existing community programs. Another investigative team still is “almost exclusively” working on gang-related crimes, Templeman said.

Many details about the new programs are getting firmed up, along with grant money, Templeman said. Shootings, including drivebys, are down this year compared to last. However, gang violence is cyclical and typically rises in the summer.

_______

This story was first published in the Everett Herald. Rikki King: 425-339-3449; rking@heraldnet.com. Twitter: @rikkiking.

More in Northwest

Bill targets sexual health curriculum in Washington schools

Senate Bill 5395 is co-sponsored by 17 Democratic representatives and introduced by Sen. Claire Wilson, D-Federal Way.

According to King County’s Mental Illness and Drug Dependency (MIDD) annual report, Seattle had the highest rate of people using services at 36 percent of the total, followed by 31 percent from South King County, 18 percent from the greater Eastside, and 7 percent from north county including Shoreline.
Study shows King County’s treatment funding is making progress

A document on the county’s .1 percent health sales tax was accepted Wednesday by the county council.

Children’s play area at Seadrunar. Photo by Lauren Davis via Facebook
Seedy side of Seadrunar: Drug rehab center accused of neglect, exploitation

Public records reveal that Seattle facility was accused of neglecting children and clients in its care.

Russell Wilson and Ciara spoke Friday at the Tukwila Library to Foster students and other attendees as their Why Not You Foundation joined forces with the King County Library System and JPMorgan Chase to launch the DREAM BIG: Anything is Possible campaign. Photo by Kayse Angel
Russell Wilson and Ciara launch DREAM BIG campaign

Partnership with King County libraries dovetails with scholarship program for local students.

Somali community faces SeaTac displacement

Proposed redevelopment threatens the heart of the Somali business community.

Brandi Carlile needs more mantle space after taking winning three Grammys on Sunday night.
Seattle cleans up at Grammys

Brandi Carlile, Seattle Symphony, and Chris Cornell combine to take home six awards.

Legislation targets missing and murdered indigenous women epidemic

Savanna’s Act co-sponsored by U.S. Sen. Maria Cantwell (D-WA); Washington ranks among highest in nation

OfferUp founder Nick Huzar makes customer safety a core pillar

Bellevue-based CEO wanted a simpler solution to his own problems

Exit poll indicates Washington voters still support climate change action

State environmental organizations’ poll points to continuing support for carbon-reducing measures.

Most Read