San José official works to reduce gun violence, strengthen mental health measures

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

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

The plan presented by San Jose City Council member Raul Peralez centers on assessing workplace culture and preventing gun violence.

The town has suffered recent trauma following massive shootings at the VTA railroad yard and the Gilroy Garlic Festival – Peralez hopes to help the community overcome tragic events like these.

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

“The mass casualty incidents, the active sniper incidents, they get a lot of public attention, but when you take a closer look at gun violence you see other trends emerging,” Peralez said.

Peralez offers the city to examine workplace culture while encouraging people to participate in mental health programs.

He is also seeking the city to partner with Santa Clara County to establish a trauma center for those affected by mass shootings or other heartbreaking events.

Peralez thinks the city needs to be proactive.

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

San Jose recently enacted gun control policies such as requiring gun stores to record purchases.

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

What has not been adopted in the city are new mental health measures. Peralez wants to change that.

“The loss of a dear friend and it happened here in the heart of the district that I represent, an agency of which I sit on the board of directors, so there is in my mind an obligation as part of my role of ‘elected to see what more we can do,’ Peralez said.

Peralez’s proposals are expected to be submitted to city council at a later date.

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

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