We support safe communities.Centerville-Washington Township’s five public entities have joined together to introduce the “We Support Safe Communities” program as a way to promote safe schools. The community-wide initiative will kick-off at the Centerville vs. Alter football game, which is scheduled for 7 p.m. on Friday, Sept. 7.

The initiative encourages all community members to take a pledge to keep firearms secure and be aware of who can access them at all times. In addition, the community groups, with the support of local businesses and organizations, are providing free gun locks to help secure firearms. Gun locks will be distributed at the Sept. 7 football game and at locations throughout the community.

“At Centerville City Schools, we take the safety of our students and staff very seriously,” said Superintendent Dr. Tom Henderson. “This is one more measure that can be taken by our community members to help keep our schools, our homes and our community safe.”

The school district shared the idea with city and township officials, and it became a community-wide effort with the City of Centerville, Washington Township, Washington-Centerville Public Library and Centerville-Washington Park District all lending their support.

“Making the pledge to responsibly secure firearms brings our community together to offer another solution to enhance school and community safety by reducing the risk of their unauthorized use,” said Centerville Mayor Brooks Compton.

In addition to support from the five public entities, local businesses and organizations, including the Miami Valley Armory and Montgomery County Sheriff’s Department, have donated gun locks. City Barbeque is donating refreshments for the group that is passing out gun locks during the football game.

“It’s been great to see how community organizations have rallied behind this idea,” said Scott Paulson, president of the Washington Township Board of Trustees. “Firearm safety and security is an issue of concern to everyone, and unsecured firearms present the potential for tragedy at home, at school or in the community. We are pleased to be a part of this initiative.”

Those who are unable to make it to the kickoff event on Sept. 7 can visit www.cwgunlocks.com to sign the pledge and receive their voucher for a free gun lock.

Centerville-Washington Park District headquarters will serve as a gun lock distribution point beginning Monday, Sept. 10. Park headquarters is located at Activity Center Park. Office hours are Monday – Friday, 8 a.m. – 4:30 p.m.