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

Palouse wind farm in Eastern Washington. COURTESY PHOTO, Chris Weber, Flickr Creative Commons
Report reveals inequities of climate change in Washington

The poor and communities of color are affected the worst, according to UW study

Safeco Field. FILE PHOTO
King County’s Safeco funding package might go to referendum vote

The initiative, filed by a group called “Citizens Against Sports Stadium Subsidies” could put the $135 million spending plan on the ballot early next year

Kent’s ShoWare Center first in line to get funds from county lodging tax

If revenues high enough, arena to get $200,000 per year

Safeco Field funding referendum withdrawn

The mysterious backers of the initiative won’t say why, but some think it’s because they couldn’t get funding to gather the necessary signatures.

King County Rolls on With Its Electric Bus Fleet Plans

With an overhaul set by 2040, a new report shows the economic and health benefits of going electric.

The man on Iron Mountain

Chuck Pillon has been living on a 10-acre junk-filled property near Renton for decades.

Safe consumption part 3: The opposite of addiction

Final episode of our three-part series on controversial supervised consumption sites

Safe consumption: The debate

In the first of a three-part series, we enter into the heated, emotional, and sometimes bitter debate around one of the most controversial policy proposals in the country.

Olympic National Park to start capturing mountain goats this summer

Park Service releases record of decision on relocating, killing animals

Legislators and activists seek solutions to farmer suicides

Agricultural workers end their own lives at a higher rate than workers in any other profession.

The Rev. Michael Curry, left, the presiding bishop of the Episcopal Church who gained international fame with his sermon at the royal wedding last month, was in Aberdeen on Saturday afternoon for a rally that sought to highlight homelessness. Photo by Scott Johnston
Bishop Curry speaks at Aberdeen affordable-housing rally

The presiding bishop of the Episcopal Church gained international fame with his sermon at the royal wedding last month.

Defendant in 1987 slayings of BC couple pleads not guilty

William Talbott of SeaTac was arraigned Tuesday in Snohomish County Superior Court.