Commissioners Approve Community Violence Action Plan – Communications and Outreach – Communications and Outreach

Commissioners Approve Community Violence Action Plan

NEW HANOVER COUNTY, North Carolina – Today, the Board of Commissioners unanimously approved a $39.6 million Community Violence Action Plan and associated budget changes to fund the action plan, using multiple sources of funding from the county.

“I’m so thrilled that we have a determined, well-researched, well-thought-out plan to make a real impact on community violence,” said Board of Commissioners Chairperson Julia Olson-Boseman. “Our community, our children and our families deserve to have fair and easy access to resources, to live in a home where they feel safe and to have the tools to succeed. This plan is multi-pronged, it looks at specific areas of our community to make direct investments, and it provides opportunities for students and families who need it most.

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

Approved sources of revenue in the plan will come from the balance of the county’s general fund and interest from the county’s revenue stabilization fund, as well as funding from the American Rescue Plan Act. Sources of revenue will continue to be assessed annually as part of the county’s budget process.

A detailed overview of the action plan and associated costs can be viewed here and a summary of specific initiatives is presented below:

  • Expand the capacity of the evidence-based Elements program at the Sheriff’s Office to alleviate the current wait list for children in need of the service and allow additional children to be served.
  • Expand the evidence-based Too Good For Violence Community Justice Services program into secondary schools to help meet the social and emotional needs of students.
  • Establish a county community care coordination unit, based on the Bull City United, community health and violence healing models, which would incorporate outreach workers and trusted mediators who work in neighborhoods and focus on evidence-based patterns and practices of interrupting violence. Funding will also be used to provide workspace for the new unit at 320 Chestnut Street.
  • Develop coordination of community resources in seven schools through one or more established nonprofit organizations, where students and families can work with a coordinator to have an entry point to access a variety of services that may be needed.
  • Add four new School Resource Officers (ARS) to elementary schools in the Designated Impact Area that do not yet have dedicated ARSs.
  • Create a 24-hour community call center for the public to report perceived threats, inside and outside the school, with the ability to research and respond to threats and also monitor threats. social media for potential threats of violence.
  • Provide threat assessment training to all school resource and park resource officers for increased awareness and response to a variety of school violence threats.
  • Fund the design of a new boarding school operated by Leading Into New Communities (LINC) to provide stability, educational opportunities, and business preparation and training for youth and young adults, ages 16 to 21 year olds, who have previous involvement in criminal justice, gang involvement, are under surveillance and/or those who have committed crimes.
  • Design and build a grocery store story on the north side of downtown Wilmington, which is designated as a food desert, which would provide neighbors with a close and convenient location to access fresh food. The store would be built on a given piece of land and operated by a current grocery store operator. This work will be done in conjunction with the Northside Food Co-op.

The county will continue to provide updates and information on this plan at NHCgov.com/schoolsafety.

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