San Jose official works to reduce gun violence, boost mental health measures

Bay Area

SAN JOSE, Calif. (KRON) – A San Jose city leader proposes boosting mental health measures to prevent mass shootings. 

The changes follow the VTA rail yard shooting in May where nine people were killed by a disgruntled worker. 

The plan put forth by San Jose City Councilmember Raul Peralez centers around evaluating workplace culture and preventing gun violence. 

The city has suffered through recent trauma following mass shootings at the VTA railyard and the Gilroy Garlic Festival — Peralez is hoping to help the community work through tragic events like these.

Michael Rudometkin was one of nine VTA employees killed in that shooting. He was a close friend of Peralez.

“Mass casualty incidents, active shooter incidents, they do generate a lot of public attention but when you look closer at gun violence you see some other trends emerging,” Peralez said.

Peralez is proposing the city examine workplace culture while encouraging people to take part in mental health programs. 

He’s also looking for the city to partner with Santa Clara County to create a trauma center for those affected by mass shootings or other harrowing events. 

Peralez believes the city needs to be proactive.

“I think we need to take a pulse within our own city workforce to see if they’re aware of the mental health services we provide and the wellness services we provide,” Peralez said.

San Jose has recently passed gun control policies such as requiring gun shops to record purchases.

The city is also expected to pass legislation soon requiring all gun owners to have insurance and to pay a gun violence fee.

What has not been passed in the city is any new mental health measures. Peralez wants to change that.

“Losing a dear friend and it happened here in the heart of the district I represent, an agency that I serve on the board of so there’s in my mind an obligation within the role that I serve as an elected official to see what more we can do,” Peralez said.

Peralez’s proposals are set to go before city council at a later date. 

The plan is to also work with San Jose police and the county to review the number of gun-related deaths in the area.

Copyright 2021 Nexstar Media Inc. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.

Trending Stories

Latest News

More News