Maplewood Mayor Issues Proclamation on National Gun Violence Awareness Day

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From Mayor Dean Dafis:

#wearorangeday Statement & Proclamation

As Mayor of Maplewood Township and on behalf of my governing body colleagues, and as a member of Mayors Against Illegal Guns, joined by local law enforcement & first responder leadership, please see below statement as well as proclamation declaring today National Gun Violence Awareness Day in Maplewood and calling on all residents to join in on our collective efforts to end gun violence.

As we continue to mourn the victims of recent gun violence across our nation, on this Wear Orange Day – also known as National Gun Violence Awareness Day – we pledge our continued local commitment to enhanced public safety, calling to action our state and federal representatives for gun safety legislation, expanding vulnerable community mutual aid, breaking barriers in services, and speaking out against white supremacy, racism, bias, and hate.  We must, we can, we will do more!

At the local level this means working with our county and sister communities in a robust gun buy-back program to get more guns off our suburban and urban streets, ensuring that we’re sufficiently trained & prepared to respond to mass casualty events, collaborating with our school district colleagues toward sensible, common sense safety protocols that protect our students while sheltering them from further physical, emotional, psychological harm or stress, and expanding recent advancements in crisis intervention into prevention and diversion.  We will also continue to stand in solidarity with and support local actions against gun violence and calls for sensible gun safety legislation.  And, we will examine our own systems and structures to divorce them from implicit bias, unintended discrimination and other barriers to opportunity, equity, health & wellness.

Our mourning has fueled our action and activism.  It has increased our capacity to care more and protect all.  The voices of the fallen speak truth to power through us as we rise together.

In solidarity, Maplewood Police Chief DeVaul states the following:

The Police Department is committed to the safety of our residents and school communities. Gun violence affects us all.  Without bold legislative changes, gun violence will not end.  And, we all must resist and dismiss thoughts that “this will not happen here”.  Hope or prayer is not a plan for success.
The Maplewood Police Department is already working with other local, county, and federal agencies to enhance our training and readiness.  We will not stand down or wait outside when the lives of our residents including our students are at stake.  The Department continues to collaborate with the school district to improve school safety. It is imperative that we do this work now, stay engaged, and collaborate. We all need to work together to find solutions that can protect us now!  

In solidarity, Maplewood Fire Chief Alvarez & Deputy Chief DeMartini state the following:

The Maplewood Fire Department will always be committed to providing the best fire and emergency medical services to the residents and visitors of our town. As gun violence has come to the forefront of our society, we will continue to work with our first responder partners and other agencies on the local, state and federal level to ensure that the all individuals that reside and visit the Township of Maplewood will receive the best emergency services possible in any given event. Working with our partners on all levels of government, allows the Maplewood Fire Department to obtain the best training and equipment available to help mitigate these tragic events and save lives.

Join us in Wearing Orange today to honor the thousands lost to gun violence – a record 110 Americans killed with guns daily.  Do it for the Black food shoppers in a Buffalo supermarket gunned down by a white supremacist as they were gathering items for supper, the parishioners in a Black church shot to death as they gathered to pray and rejoice in love & peace, for the third and fourth graders murdered in an elementary school while clenching to their backpacks and lesson plans.

Not everything that is faced can be changed. But nothing can be changed until it is faced – James Baldwin.

Tonight, let’s stand with Moms Demand Action and other grassroots groups in Summit starting at 5:00 pm: and/or on Saturday starting at 1:00 pm at Newark City Hall:

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