SANTA ROSA, Calif. (KGO) --The Santa Clara County Sheriff's Office is now issuing gun vaults also known as lock boxes to all deputies in order to secure their department-issued firearms.
It's all in an effort aimed at reducing the risk of firearm theft while deputies are off duty.
This project is being funded by a community group at no cost to taxpayers. The sheriff told ABC7 News that she hopes this will prevent a future tragedy from happening.
The Santa Clara County Sheriff's Office has begun the installation of individual gun vaults in the personal vehicles of patrol officers, as well as unmarked cars.
The agency is believed to be one of the first in California to do this voluntarily ahead of a new law, which takes effect in January. "One tragedy is too many, so this is a step that we know that we wanted to take. We know that our deputies carry firearms when they're off duty, as they should and we want to make sure that they have a way to secure it," Santa Clara County Sheriff's Office Laurie Smith said.
Sponsored by State Senator Jerry Hill, the state bill requires law enforcement officers, as well as concealed weapon permit holders who leave firearms in their vehicles to lock them up in a safe box or in the trunk.
It's a small change that could make a world of a difference.