BURKE COUNTY, GA (WFXG) - The Mayor of Waynesboro declared June Gun Violence Awareness Month. Since 2017, 4 people have died in Waynesboro due to gun violence according to the Burke County Sheriff's Office.
"Anything we can do to make our area safer, to have less gun violence that's something we certainly strive for," says Chief Deputy, Lewis Blanchard.
Mayor Greg Carswell along with the Burke County Sheriff's Office and the B.R.I.D.G.E Program declared June Gun Violence Awareness Month for Waynesboro.
"We believe in the 2nd amendment, we believe in the right to carry firearms but you need to be properly trained and a responsible firearms owner. That means not leaving your guns in cars when you go into restaurants, not leaving your guns in cars when you go home at night," says Chief Deputy Blanchard.
While he says the department's goal is to have that number at zero, initiatives like this, as well as nonprofit organizations, have been playing a part in reducing violence. "We've been able to lower violent crime by 50 percent, we're not going to take credit for all of because it's all of us. It's the community, it's partnerships, it's all of us working together," he says.
The messages were clear on Friday as children held up signs saying stop the violence. One message they also want to share is that it takes a full effort from all sides of the community to fight this ongoing problem.
On Saturday at KJ's in Waynesboro at 10am, the Burke County Sheriff's Department will be hosting a 'gun turn-in program' for people who don't feel comfortable owning firearms anymore. Also, the department will be giving away fire gun locks.