Frederick Ryan, Chief of Police
112 Mystic St.
Arlington, MA 02474
For Immediate Release
Thursday, May 19, 2016
Contact: Captain Richard Flynn, PIO (APD)
Email: [email protected]
Kevin Maccioli (Middlesex Sheriff’s Office)
Several Communities in Middlesex County Partner to Host First Regional Gun Buyback Initiative
MEDFORD, Mass. – Community and faith-based organizations, five greater Boston area police departments (Arlington, Belmont, Cambridge, Somerville and Watertown) and the Middlesex Sheriff’s Office will partner to host the county’s first regional gun buyback initiative in June, officials announced today.
The regional initiative – modeled on successful efforts in several communities in Middlesex County over the past three years – is focused on providing residents with a safe and secure way of removing unwanted firearms from their homes. Buyback events will occur throughout the month of June, beginning June 11 in Arlington, Belmont and Cambridge, continuing June 18 in Watertown and concluding June 25 in Somerville.
“Nationwide more than 20,000 people commit suicide with a firearm and another 16,000 are injured in unintentional shootings each year,” said Middlesex Sheriff Peter J. Koutoujian. “Providing residents with an avenue to safely dispose of unwanted firearms makes our communities – and especially our homes – safer, and we are proud to support our partners in this effort.”
According to the most recent data available from the Massachusetts Department of Public Health, 115 Massachusetts residents died as a result of a firearm-related suicide in 2013.
“This initiative represents a powerful opportunity for individuals, organizations, and houses of faith to come together to create safer homes and safer communities,” said Lori Lander, founding organizer at Many Helping Hands.
“By having an unwanted firearm in a home, children, people with mental illness and those at risk of domestic violence can be at risk of a preventable tragedy,” said Acting Commissioner Christopher Burke of the Cambridge Police Department, which hosted its first gun buyback event last year. “With each of the five communities pulling together and collaborating regionally, we recognize that there can be a greater impact in our respective cities and towns.”
“We are grateful to our neighboring agencies and to Sheriff Koutoujian and his team for partnering with us on this important community safety initiative,” said Arlington Police Chief Fred Ryan, whose department hosted its first gun buy back in September 2013.
“This event represents one of the many ways in which the police and the community are able to form partnerships to help keep people in our community safe,” said Belmont Police Chief Richard McLaughlin. “The number of firearms that we received at our first gun buyback event in 2014, helped to demonstrate the effectiveness of these kinds of programs.”
“The WPD Is excited to take part in our first gun buy back initiative to promote safer homes in our community,” said Watertown Police Chief Michael Lawn. “We encourage all our residents to turn in unwanted firearms and make our community and our surrounding communities a safer place to live.”
“This is a great opportunity for residents to safely dispose of their old or unwanted firearms. Every unwanted gun taken out of circulation means one fewer chance for someone to get seriously hurt,” Somerville Police Chief David Fallon said. “We encourage residents to take advantage of this opportunity next month to help prevent accidents and injuries in our homes and community.”
Officials believe the regional approach will provide residents with additional opportunities to remove these unwanted firearms from their homes. Residents of the five communities can turn in unwanted firearms at any of the sites.
Times and locations for each of the events will be announced by the local partners.
Since October 2013, the Middlesex Sheriff’s Office has provided support to gun buyback initiatives in seven communities including four of the five communities participating in the regional initiative. In total, 299 unwanted firearms were turned in during the previous events.
Arlington Police Captain Richard Flynn 781-316-3907
Belmont Police Assistant Chief James MacIssac 617-993-2574
Cambridge Police Dir. of Communications Jeremy Warnick 617-349-3237
Somerville Police Deputy Chief Paul Trant 617-625-1600
Watertown Police Lieutenant James O’Connor 617-972-6500