GUILFORD COUNTY, N.C. (WGHP) — Gun violence is now being treated as a public health issue in Guilford County after county commissioners made the declaration on Thursday to combat an issue that has become an almost daily occurrence for the county.  

The declaration was introduced by Commissioner Carly Cooke after she witnessed firsthand an active shooter training scenario inside of her child’s class.  

The declaration will allow the Guilford County Health Department to bring in its resources to study the root causes of gun violence much like it would cancer, heart disease and infant mortality rates in various parts of the county.  

“The outcome demonstrating the effectiveness of these strategies are monitored, and modifications and improvements are made if needed,” County Health Director Dr. Iulia Vann told commissioners on Thursday.

The declaration has anti-gun violence organizations that are operated through the city of Greensboro another platform to secure funding.  

Cure Violence leader Ingram Bell told FOX8 that she had already drafted an email to discuss ways commissioners can help. 

“Hopefully with the county saying that violence is a public health issue…that will help us be able to spread out and help more target areas because it’s needed in our city,” she said.

Cure Violence was introduced to Greensboro around four years ago.  

With a team of seven individuals, it has helped to reduce violence in the two major areas it operates out of in the city of Greensboro: Smith Homes and along the Martin Luther King Jr. corridor.  

Bell said that her crews are constantly called to help intervene with individuals who are close to considering committing a violent act.

“We can start having those conversations…where those hot spots are, and we’ll be able to spread to where those hot spots are if we get more funding,” she explained.  

A task force is also being created to help identify the various organizations that already exist within the county to examine areas that the groups overlap or cracks within them where areas or individuals are falling through.  

County commissioners are also looking at other financial opportunities that exist to help organizations expand and succeed.  

There is also a grant being drafted that would add more resources to the health department to provide health education through the topic of gun violence.  

To watch the full county commissioners meeting, click here.