North Carolina Department of Justice
North Carolina Department of Justice
North Carolina Department of Justice
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Following Hillsborough shooting, Cooper urges schools to be crisis-ready

Release date: 8/31/2006

Raleigh: Following a school shooting at Orange County High School on Wednesday, Attorney General Roy Cooper today encouraged North Carolina schools to take steps to keep their students safe.

“Good work by law enforcement and school officials helped keep a threatening situation from turning into a tragedy,” Cooper said about the Orange County incident. “With students heading back to school across our state, I want to make sure that all of our local schools are ready to respond to a crisis.”

Cooper wrote to school superintendents and principals across the state today to ask them to make sure that schools in their district have completed and updated their Critical Incident Response Kits, and to encourage them to show the accompanying training video to faculty and staff again.

Seven years ago America experienced the worst school shooting in its history when thirteen people were killed at Columbine High School in Colorado. To help North Carolina schools prepare to respond to a similar crisis, Cooper worked with Department of Juvenile Justice and Delinquency Prevention Secretary George Sweat and the Department of Public Instruction to develop the Critical Incident Response Kit and video.

In 2002, officials at every public school in North Carolina received a videotape and a booklet that explains how to assemble the kit. Videos and booklets went to private and charter schools across the state in July of 2003. A completed kit includes items such as: architectural blueprints for the school; cut-off procedures for fire alarms, utilities, sprinkler systems, and cable television; keys to the school in a separately locked container; evacuation plans; and emergency contact information. Also included in the kit is a video, “What To Do in the First 20 Minutes,” which shows teachers, school administrators, and law enforcement how to respond appropriately to a school shooting.

Close to 1,500 schools have completed specialized CIRK training sponsored by the Attorney General’s Office, the Justice Academy, the State Bureau of Investigation, the Center for the Prevention of School Violence, and Emergency Management. A list of all 762 schools statewide that have received awards for completing the kit and meeting the recommendations in the CIRK booklet and video is available at

Cooper has also worked through the North Carolina Justice Academy and the SBI to make rapid deployment training available to all local law enforcement agencies across the state, including School Resource Officers. The technique teaches law enforcement officers who are first on a school violence scene to locate and subdue the active shooter to save lives. Rapid deployment training is now a part of Basic Law Enforcement Training in North Carolina. ###

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