Washtenaw County Sheriff Lays Out "Fair and Just Response" to Gun Violence


Washtenaw County Sheriff Jerry Clayton

By Andy Nixon, STN reporter

Speaking through a multi-year report and Op-Ed article, Sheriff Clayton shares insights on immediate, mid-term, and long-term solutions to reduce gun violence in our communities. The report, completed by the Joyce Foundation, brought together a broad spectrum of experts from across the country. Sheriff Clayton notes "It's probably the most complicated public safety question we're currently facing: Reducing the devastating toll of gun violence and limiting the proliferation of illegal guns, without undermining the already-fraught relationship between police and communities."

The three main approaches laid out include: reducing the supply of illegal guns, focusing law enforcement resources on those specific areas and people who are actively engaged in gun violence and are a threat to others, and engaging and working with our communities to develop community-based responses which address the long-term root causes and provide proven prevention solutions.

In total, the Community Violence Intervention Team (CVIT) compiled 14 community-based responses. The list of recommendations has been adopted by the Washtenaw County Board of Commissioners and includes items such as setting a clear goal, engaging people with empathy and accountability, creating the Washtenaw County Violence Commission, and building a mural/safe grieving community space.

Sheriff Clayton states "We have lost too many young people, specifically young men, to senseless violence here in Washtenaw County", adding, "these are our children. We can and we must do better for them and for the families and neighborhoods where this violence occurs, perpetuating generational trauma, impeding community investment, and obstructing equal opportunity."

The WCSO and the Sheriff's Office will continue to engage and work with the community, striving to improve the quality of life across Washtenaw County. Sheriff Clayton urges those who want to be a part of the solution to contact the Director of Community Engagement Derrick Jackson at jacksond@washtenaw.org.

View the full CVIT recommendations document at: https://www.washtenaw.org/DocumentCenter/View/26728/CVIT-Recommendations

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