NORTH CHARLESTON, S.C. (WCBD) – North Charleston community leaders are educating children on the importance of staying away from guns.
“June is National Gun Awareness Month,” Sherrika Myers, founder of the nonprofit Every 1 Voice Matters, said, “and Every 1 Voice Matters, Positive Vibes, Donnimechia and the North Charleston Police Department decided to get together to bring awareness to these different low-income communities and let the kids know that we are here to support them.”
Myers says she believes a lot of the violence taking place in the city is due to a lack of opportunities for the youth. She, along with other community leaders, are seeing success in changing that.
“We decided to bring the resources to them to let them know that we are here to help them,” Myers said. “We want them to see other opportunities, other ways to handle their anger, their frustration other than picking up a gun.”
North Charleston police says over the last 30 days, they’ve seized 63 illegal guns off the streets, which is nearly a third more than in previous months.
“I think it’s great that we’re getting those guns off the streets,” North Charleston Police deputy chief Karen Cordray said, “because every gun off the street, we believe, is a life saved.”
Cordray says efforts from community organizations like these gun awareness events are vital in helping them combat gun violence.
“I think the fact that they’re partnering with us and trying to get out into these communities that are impacted by gun violence,” Cordray said, “and get word out and try to let them know we’re there; working on it. And try to give them something to look forward to. It’s a nice event to bring awareness to a big problem.”
The deputy chief has one message for the North Charleston community.
“NCPD and the community partners that are working with us,” Cordray said, “we all take gun violence very seriously. I can let you know that Chief Burgess and this department take every victim of gun violence; it’s personal to us. So, it’s important that they keep the faith.”
North Charleston Police officials report there have been 82 people shot in the city so far this year, 18 of those have been fatal.