In the wake of leaked Uvalde shooting video, New Hanover County hosts NC School Resource Officer convention

NEW HANOVER COUNTY (WWAY) — This week, Texas press leaked video showing law enforcement waiting inside Uvalde’s Robb Elementary School more than an hour listening to the gunman fire and children cry.

Here in Wilmington, the North Carolina Association of School Resource Officers held its annual weeklong convention. This is the 28th Annual NCASRO conference. It provides classes and on the ground training to school resource officers on everything from creating lasting relationships with community members to active shooter scenarios.

Nearly 500 school resource officers and administrators attended the NCASRO convention this week, including the New Hanover County Sheriff’s Office. It just hired 18 additional SRO’s to be in schools starting this fall.

“After the shooting we had last year in the school, the Sheriff went to the county commissioners, they agreed and they budgeted so that we could have more SRO’s and have an SRO in every school in New Hanover County,” explained Lieutenant Jerry Brewer.

 SRO’s jobs and how they respond to emergencies have shifted over the years. NCASRO President Scott Drew believes one of the biggest catalysts was Columbine.

“It changed the way we put officers into schools and the response to incidents like that,” Drew said.

 New Hanover County was no different. In 2018, the Sheriff’s Office developed a new form of training for SRO’s just after the Parkland shooting. Using real audio from that event, the training immerses deputies in real world scenarios, with one important goal in mind.

“We have to know that if something, the unimaginable happens, we have to know that they’re going to go to the threat and eliminate the threat without any hesitation,” Sheriff Ed McMahon explained back in 2018.

Though they couldn’t comment on the leaked video of Uvalde officers waiting more than an hour to take down the shooter, Brewer says New Hanover County’s school resource officers go through that training yearly, preparing them to stop a shooter and keep schools safe.

“So Sheriff McMahon makes sure that every single SRO is getting the most and best training that they can possibly get so that they can go out and protect our children,” said Brewer.

That SRO conference finished up Friday afternoon, and also offered training in suicide prevention.

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