WAKE COUNTY, N.C. — Lt. Brian Bowers is in charge of the School Resource Officer Division for the Wake County Sheriff's Office. He says everything changed after the Columbine school shooting of 1999.
What You Need To Know
After two school shootings in our state just last week, Wake County law enforcement is holding active shooter training
The agency holds the training two to three times every year
Last year, SROs were unable to have the training due to school closures during the COVID-19 pandemic
In the past, law enforcement waited for backup before going after a school shooter.
"Why wait when the kids in the classroom have nothing but ink pens and pencils to defend themselves," he said.
Today, Bowers says school shootings are more frequent as mental health continues to be a concern among students. And the pandemic doesn't help.
"Kids, you know, they're exposed to a lot," Bowers said. "When they don't have the social gatherings and the meetings of their peers and their classmates, you know, they can get in a dark place. And they can become depressed or stressed, just like an adult can."
Bowers says a mass shooting is not something you can ever be fully prepared for mentally, but this training is about building up the skills to cope, deal and eliminate that threat or target.
He says the hope is, sometime in the future, teachers and other faculty members will participate in the training as well.