Mayor Sylvester Turner announced recommendations submitted by the Mayor's Commission Against Gun Violence in a report that focuses on making schools and communities safer, increasing public awareness for the safe use and storage of firearms, and relying on technology to prevent campus shootings.
The commission recommended the Houston Independent School District place a police officer on every campus, the use of mobile apps to report and prevent school shootings, additional mental and behavioral resources for students and school personnel, initiatives to curb gun violence in cases of domestic violence and a focus on more community based safety programs.
"I am impressed with the commission's recommendations and the holistic approach to reducing gun violence and addressing gun safety issues in our schools and the community," Mayor Turner said.
Mayor Turner also announced the city is partnering with Microsoft as it works to create a safe building and safe campus solution to help provide information to people in crises scenarios. The solution includes additional sensors (such as light indicators, emergency buttons, and sound sensors) as well as mobile and web applications to allow security personnel to communicate with people in a crises area. Houston was named a Microsoft "Smart City" earlier this year.
The commission's recommendations address primary and secondary prevention of gun violence in schools. However, many extend beyond the classroom and are relevant across the community.
"There's a lot of passion in this commission and many people who want to help," Commission Chair Haley Carter said. "We had input from not only our members but also members of the community, school districts, law enforcement, universities, faith-based organizations and others."
The mayor appointed the 37-member commission earlier this year after putting his support behind the student-led March for Our Lives movement and following the deadly school shootings in Parkland, FL., and Santa Fe, TX.
The commission is a diverse group of students, parents, physicians, law enforcement officials, gun-rights advocates, gun violence victims and members of faith-based and civil rights organizations.
The commission will present a second report later this year that will focus on making substantive changes on the state and federal levels.