Local law enforcement agencies, state officials come together to discuss school safety

GREENSBORO, N.C. -- The goal Wednesday afternoon was for law enforcement agencies across the Piedmont Triad to come together and bring to the table ways to help make schools safer.

“There are certain things that we are going to need to have and it's going to need to come from the state to get it, but there's going to need to be more mental health issues addressed in this state,” Guilford County Sheriff BJ Barnes said.

“I think every school in the state of North Carolina should have a SRO,” Gibsonville Police Chief Ron Parrish said.

North Carolina Secretary of Public Safety Erik Hooks set up a meeting with agencies in Greensboro to hear from them about the needs and they can all work together to protect children and teachers.

“So, a lot of times our schools are hiding information from us that we should know…but because of pressure from the school system, they are not reporting a lot of crimes that we should know about,” Barnes said.

This as concerns grow after the shooting at Stoneman Douglas High School in Florida last month along with the shooting Tuesday morning at a Maryland high school.

Representatives from state emergency management and State Bureau of Investigations also came from Raleigh to not just listen, but explain initiatives they are working on too.

“We've received floor plans from all 2,295 public schools. We have that data. We've updated those floor plans. We've met and trained administrators, EMs, law enforcement in 1,980 schools. We are working diligently to get those floor plans into a digital format,” said Joe Wright, deputy director of the state’s emergency management.

“So, there's real work going on so it's passed the idea phase, but as we go through the processes of providing public safety all across this state we want to look and solicit new ideas and have input from all corridors,” Hooks said.

Hooks tells FOX8 that the Juvenile Justice department is also addressing mental health.

He also says that he’s talking with lawmakers about how to fund certain ideas.