Governor’s Crime Commission Forms Special Committee to Improve School Safety


At Public Safety Secretary Erik A. Hooks’ request, the Governor’s Crime Commission has established a special committee consisting of representatives from law enforcement, juvenile justice, courts, schools and others to identify resources and develop recommendations to strengthen school safety.

“School shootings have tragically become too common an occurrence in our country. We must use every resource available to us to examine and address this dangerous threat posed to our children and educational professionals,” Secretary Hooks stated. “I have made this a continuing priority for our department and have asked the members of this special committee to help us find solutions to the threat of shootings in schools.”

The committee will conduct a series of forums to gather and share information, listen to concerns and identify possible strategies for preventing school gun violence. Members will engage in a whole-of-community and whole-of-government approach to find solutions to the threat of school shootings.

Sheriff Donnie Harrison of Wake County and Sheriff Alan Cloninger of Gaston County will serve as its co-chairmen.

“We want to focus on how to provide all levels of law enforcement with the training and tools necessary to prevent these tragedies,” said Sheriff Cloninger. “When we can’t prevent them, we must make sure that our response is quick and effective and that incidents are resolved as safely as possible.”

Special Committee members:

  • Charles Blackwood, sheriff, Orange County;
  • Ernie Coleman, sheriff, Beaufort County;
  • Patrice Andrews, chief of police, Morrisville;
  • Michael Yaniero, chief of police, Jacksonville;
  • Robert Evans, district attorney, Wilson/Nash/Edgecombe counties;
  • Ben Matthews, chief school operations officer, NC Public Schools;
  • William Lassiter, deputy secretary, DPS Juvenile Justice Section;
  • Bruce Stanley, president and CEO, Methodist Home for Children;
  • Chris Suggs, student;
  • Marion Warren, director, Administrative Office of the Courts;
  • Michael Becketts, assistant secretary, NC DHHS;
  • Dave Elliot, deputy chief of staff/special deputy attorney general, NC Department of Justice;
  • Mitch Colvin, mayor, Fayetteville;
  • Jennifer Knox, clerk of court, Wake County;
  • Gail Mills, Durham Rescue;
  • BJ Barnes, sheriff, Guilford County; and
  • Bob Schurmeier, director, SBI

The first meeting of the Governor’s Crime Commission Special Committee on School Shootings will be on Monday, April 23. It will take place at the Governor’s Crime Commission, Room 100, 1201 Front St., in Raleigh from 1 to 4 p.m.


WHAT: First meeting of the Special Committee on School Shootings

WHERE: Governor’s Crime Commission
1201 Front St., Room 100, Raleigh

DATE/TIME: Monday, April 23, 1 - 4 p.m.




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