PENSACOLA, Fla. (WKRG) — Elected officials, law enforcement and the community gathered Tuesday night to discuss solutions to gun violence.
A deadly shootout at Bellview Athletic Park during a youth football game led to this gun violence roundtable which was organized by Sheriff Chip Simmons.
“I don’t want to meet just to have a meeting,” Simmons said. “I want to meet to get things done and to show that this community is important to us.”
Local and state elected officials were at the table. They had a discussion about solutions to gun violence as the sheriff’s office investigates 25 homicides this year. People in the community also gave their input including teacher, Ida Gates.
“We’re extremely grateful to be here today to have a say into solutions…not just programs but solutions that will help the community to be more aware and not only aware but to take action,” Gates said.
Gates and others at the table talked about the importance of parents being involved in their child’s life.
“It starts at home and so the accountability has to be there,” she said. “It has to start from home.”
Sheriff Simmons said one major problem is when people leave guns in their unlocked cars. Those guns are often later used in a crime. Simmons said he’s also looking at possibly using ShotSpotter which is technology used in Mobile to detect exactly where a gun is fired.
“There’s no one answer for everything but I think if we come together and say hey, we’re doing this at the sheriff’s office, you’re doing that at the city, you’re doing that at the county,” Simmons said. “Can we work together? Can we use some technologies? Can we share some technologies? Can we share some innovations?”
The sheriff said he’s planning a couple more meetings like this to discuss solutions to gun violence. The second one will be after the first of the new year.