Sunday, June 16, 2024

Tampa Police Chief Speaks to Community Following Recent Tragedies


Addressing Gun Violence in Our Tampa Community: A Call to Action

The Tampa Police Department is taking a stand against gun violence in our community, especially when it involves young individuals. While there has been a decrease in juvenile-related gun crimes from 2022 to 2023, the risks associated with guns are still alarmingly high for both the individuals themselves and those around them.

Chief of Police Lee Bercaw expressed deep concern over the recent incidents that have occurred in Tampa, highlighting the tragic events on October 29, 2023, and April 9, 2024. These incidents serve as a stark reminder of the dangers that come with firearms, particularly in the hands of inexperienced and impulsive juveniles.

In an effort to combat gun violence, the Tampa Police Department has launched the PROJECT: Locked & Unloaded program, which aims to reduce access to guns for those who should not have them. The program provides free gun locks to responsible gun owners, with the goal of preventing thefts and unauthorized use of firearms.

Additionally, the Tampa Police Department is actively engaging with the community through various youth-focused programs and initiatives, such as the School Resource Officer program, Bigs in Blue, and the Police Athletic League. These programs aim to build positive relationships with young individuals and provide them with mentorship and educational opportunities.

Chief Bercaw emphasized the importance of community involvement in preventing gun crimes, urging parents, guardians, and mentors to secure firearms safely and have open conversations with children about the dangers of guns. By working together, law enforcement, parents, educators, and community members can create a safer environment for our youth and ultimately make Tampa a safer place for all.

The safety of our community is a top priority for the Tampa Police Department, and with the support and collaboration of all members of the community, we can work towards reducing and preventing gun violence in our city. Let’s come together to make Tampa a safer place for everyone.

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