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Evans to serve on school safety panel

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District Attorney Robert Evans

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BY AMELIA HARPER
Staff Writer

Monday, April 23, 2018

District Attorney Robert Evans of the Seventh Judicial District has been named a member of the new Governor’s Crime Commission Special Committee on School Shootings.

Evans previously was appointed by Gov. Roy Cooper in March 2017 to serve as the chairman of the Governor’s Crime Commission. Evans has served as the district attorney for Nash, Edgecombe and Wilson counties since 2009.

The Special Committee on School Shootings recently was established at the request of N.C. Public Safety Secretary Erik Hooks, according to a press release from the N.C. Department of Public Safety. The special committee consists of representatives from law enforcement, juvenile justice, courts and schools and has as its goals the identification of resources and the development of 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,” Hooks said in the release. “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 17-member committee will conduct a series of forums to gather and share information, listen to concerns and identify possible strategies for preventing school gun violence, the release said.

The first meeting of the committee will take place today in Raleigh.

Cooper’s office also announced that the governor’s budget will recommend $130 million to protect students and prevent school violence.

“North Carolina’s classrooms must be safe and supportive places for educators to work and children to learn,” Cooper said in a press release. “We should address both classroom security and youth mental health needs, and my budget takes meaningful steps to prevent school violence and protect teachers and students.”

The budget recommendation is in addition to specific policy changes that the governor supports to keep dangerous weapons out of the wrong hands, the release said.

Cooper’s budget recommendations include $65 million for public safety upgrades to improve school security; $40 million for improving student support services such as school nurses, counselors, psychologists and social workers; $15 million for increased support of mental health services for students; and $444,000 for preparation of a risk and response program.

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