County to launch mass shooting awareness and education initiative

VENTURA, Calif. – Ventura County is one of the safest places in the United States, but the recent tragedy at the Borderline Bar, and incidents in Gilroy, El Paso, Dayton and other communities across the country, serve as a stark reminder that violence can occur anywhere. Because of this, the County is launching an initiative to raise awareness of resources and services that are available to help.

The program has three basic premises: Everyone should be aware of what is happening around them and, if you see something, say something. If you are a victim or have been affected by a mass shooting or tragedy, there is help for you. And, if you are concerned, stressed or fearful, there are services readily available to help.

“Both Carmen Ramirez, Mayor Pro Tem of the City of Oxnard, and I have been getting phone calls and emails from concerned constituents in the City, which shares similar demographics to El Paso, asking if they are safe,” said District 5 Supervisor John Zaragoza. “I tell them, ‘yes you are.’ The County and our cities are working both very publicly and behind the scenes to assure your safety and to identify threats before anything has a chance to happen.”

We also recognize that the public plays a significant role in helping keep our communities safe.

“People are the eyes and ears for our deputies and city police officers,” said Sheriff Bill Ayub. “We can’t be everywhere, so we rely on the public to report dangerous, strange or unusual activity. We don’t want to ‘pick up the pieces.’ We want to stop something before it starts.”

Mass shootings are traumatic both physically and mentally. The sheer number of recent events is creating anxiety and fear in some people. Security has been raised at many locations and venues around the county and residents should feel safe sending their children to school, shopping or attending events. But the fear is real and there are resources to help people work through their anxiety and there are also resources for people who may feel concerned about the mental state of a family member.

The County has established several websites and hotlines to assist the public. Many of the cities have similar resources. The County will continue working to raise public awareness of possible threats, identify threats before they can become reality, and respond swiftly and forcefully to active shootings.

A coordinated information effort is being developed and will be launched as soon as possible, but a great deal of information is available now. The public is invited to refer to the following resources for further assistance:

Crisis Team Hotline (24/7): 1-866-998-2243

“See something, say something.” (Ventura County Sheriff): 1-805-654-9511

Crime Victims Assistance: 1-805-654-3622

County Mass Shooting Resource Webpage: https://ventura.org/vcsafe 

Mental Health and Safety Task Force – The County of Ventura welcomes input from the public concerning ways we can work to prevent gun-related tragedies and violence from occurring in the future.  

https://www.venturacountyrecovers.org/county-of-ventura-task-force-on-mental-health-and-safety/

FBI website with multiple documents

https://www.fbi.gov/about/partnerships/office-of-partner-engagement/active-shooter-resources

FEMA active shooter information booklet

https://www.fema.gov/media-library-data/1523561958719-f1eff6bc841d56b7873e018f73a4e024/ActiveShooter_508.pdf

Gun Violence Restraining Orders:  https://www.courts.ca.gov/33961.htm

 


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