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New program to provide gun safety training for San Diego County social workers

Posted at 12:09 PM, Oct 19, 2020
and last updated 2020-10-19 16:39:06-04

SAN DIEGO (KGTV) – San Diego County Supervisor Nathan Fletcher and City Attorney Mara Elliott on Monday announced a new partnership that will help protect local families from gun violence.

The local leaders said a program will be implemented to provide specialized gun safety training for 800 county social workers that deal with children and investigate child abuse.

The training will be held virtually for these employees in the coming months. They want each of them to be familiar with gun violence restraining orders and San Diego’s Safe Storage of Firearms law -- two tools gun prevention advocates say are essential in keeping people safe.

Carol Landale, with San Diegans for Gun Violence Prevention, said, “The more people who are aware of how to use a gun violence restraining order, as far as we’re concerned, the better. And this is not to say we’re coming after your guns. This is not what it’s about … We remove the gun on a temporary basis -- a temporary removal for a crisis and when the crisis is done the gun can be returned.”

Officials say they’re doing this now because COVID-19 has limited the interaction between children and mandated reporters like their teachers or school counselors. So, they want to make sure social workers know of danger signs when they’re present.

In a news release, Elliott said, “As pandemic-related stressors mount and children attend school at homes where parents are distracted by other responsibilities, protecting families from gun violence has never been more important. Our goal is to prevent unthinkable tragedies and ensure the safety of the social workers who continue to investigate the well-being of San Diego’s children during the pandemic. We are grateful to be working with Supervisor Fletcher and the County Child Welfare Services to keep kids safe.”

“Our social workers do a great job of showing care and compassion for families daily, and with this new training they will be more knowledgeable about preventing gun violence in homes throughout San Diego County. I appreciate City Attorney Elliott for making this training available for our workers, it is another example of the collaborative relationship we’re building with the City of San Diego; and thank you to our hard working social workers for embracing this training,” Fletcher said.