May 18, 2018
In the wake of the shooting at a Texas high school, North Carolina leaders are pushing for change.
"School resource officers play such a critical role in keeping our kids safe at school," North Carolina Attorney General Josh Stein said.
Which is why he said he’s been pushing for specialized training for all SRO's in the state.
“It helps teach them how to interact with young people and interact effectively with young people,” Stein said.
The training is a 40-hour course authored by the North Carolina Justice Academy. Though some agencies already use this program, it’s not a requirement.
"I suggested to the Criminal Justice Training and Standards Commission that they make it mandatory," Stein said.
The attorney general said he has been pushing for this since the Parkland shooting.
"It should not take repeated shootings at our schools to force us to take action," Stein said.
After the Texas shooting, he said enough is enough.
"It's just heartbreaking that those poor people had to suffer through that,” Stein said. “We have to put a stop to it."
He said another part of the training deals specifically with active shooter situations.
"We absolutely want our school resource officers to know immediately what they can do to minimize the risk of harm to any of our school kids," Stein said.
A sentiment echoed by some agencies here in the mountains.
Transylvania County Sheriff David Mahoney said in a statement:
"As the co-chair of the N.C. Sheriffs’ Association Safe Schools Committee, I am happy to see some movement toward consistent training for our school resource officers. Sheriffs from all across our state have identified this as a need. In today’s world, the role of school resource officers cannot be overstated. By providing timely, consistent training to these incredible officers, we allow the public safety community to sing from the same sheet of music across jurisdictional boundaries as we all strive to keep our schools a safe place to learn."
The training proposal will now go to the Planning and Standards Commission.
The attorney general said he's optimistic the training will become mandatory soon.