School Safety & Community Violence

New Hanover County has developed an actionable plan to invest in community and resource building, with a focus on equity and preventing violence. The county will continue to engage in community-wide conversations as the plan is implemented, working closely with community partners, advocates, and families who are deeply involved in our neighborhoods and the lives of youth.

January 24 Update

The Board of Commissioners unanimously approved a $39.6 million community violence action plan and associated budget amendments to fund the action plan, utilizing multiple funding sources of the county. A detailed overview of the action plan, associated costs and a summary of the specific initiatives can be viewed here.

The county’s plan was informed by community stakeholder meetings, student focus groups, input from the public through virtual meetings, a survey and informal communications, conversations with school personnel, administration, and law enforcement, as well as research into evidence-based programs, learning about community work already underway, and hearing from subject-matter experts.

The revenue sources approved in the plan will come from the county’s general fund balance and interest from the county’s revenue stabilization fund, as well as American Rescue Plan Act funding. Revenue sources will continue to be evaluated yearly as part of the county’s budget process.

November 30 Update:

The New Hanover County Board of Commissioners and New Hanover County Board of Education held a joint meeting on November 30 and part of the discussion was focused on community and school safety. The meeting video can be viewed here.

At the meeting, board members were also provided with an overview of the results of a recent public input survey that solicited feedback on community and school safety. An overview of the survey results can be found here 

November 15 Update:

At the November 15, 2021 Board of Commissioners meeting, County Manager Chris Coudriet updated the board on the progress of community violence & school safety plans. A budget amendment is planned for the December 20 board meeting that will outline initial priorities & funding mechanisms to begin people-first investments. Watch this update to the board here.

October 18 Update:

At the October 18, 2021 Board of Commissioners meeting, County Manager Chris Coudriet provided an update to the board on the framework of investments and strategies over the next three years to help address structural violence and direct violence in the community, and improve school safety. Additional details of this plan, funding information, and program development will take place over the coming weeks and months. An overview of the initial strategies and potential investments can be viewed here.

September 20 Update:

At the September 20, 2021 Board of Commissioners meeting, County Manager Chris Coudriet gave an update on the county’s progress to support school safety & community violence prevention initiatives. Community engagement work has begun to identify problems and possible solutions, with more opportunities for public forums & collaboration to come. Watch this update to the board here.

In an effort to expand the ongoing conversation about violence in our community and safety within our schools, New Hanover County hosted a pair of digital “Let’s Talk” public forums on November 15 and 17, 2021.

These webinar-style Zoom events featured array of panelists, including local service providers, families, teachers, school administrators, law enforcement officials and more. 

Community participants joined the virtual meeting to listen to the conversation and submit questions for panelists to answer live.


Let’s Talk: School Safety Forum

The second virtual public forum, “Let’s Talk: School Safety,” was held on Wednesday, November 17. The panel featured representatives from New Hanover County Schools’ Central Services, school administration and parents. The discussion centered around how issues that start in a community impact the school environment, and how to help ensure safety on school campuses. Attendees then asked questions of the panelists and shared feedback. Click below to watch the second virtual forum.


Let’s Talk: Community Violence Forum

The first virtual public forum, “Let’s Talk: Community Violence,” was held on Monday, November 15. The panel featured local law enforcement, community groups and parents as they discussed issues taking place around New Hanover County that are leading to and are a direct result of violence within the community. Attendees then asked questions of the panelists and shared feedback. Click below to watch the first virtual forum.

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