Today, Governor Roy Cooper announced the creation of a statewide Office of Violence Prevention that will be located in the North Carolina Department of Public Safety. By coordinating efforts across state agencies and partnering with local leaders, the new office will focus on reducing violence and firearm misuse in North Carolina.
"All of us deserve to feel safe in our homes, our schools and our communities,” Governor Cooper said. “This new office will help coordinate the efforts to reduce violent crime, tackle both intentional and careless gun injuries and deaths, and work to keep people safe.”
The Office will work closely with other state agencies, including the North Carolina Department of Health and Human Services, to ensure a whole of government and public health approach to reducing violence. The Office will offer training and technical assistance, issue best practice guidance and model processes, facilitate information sharing across state and local leaders working to reduce violence, conduct public awareness campaigns, share data, collaborate with research institutions, and identify and apply for funding from federal and philanthropic sources.
The creation of the Office of Violence Prevention is part of Governor Cooper’s ongoing commitment to reducing violence and promoting public safety in North Carolina. The Governor has launched a public education campaign to encourage firearm safe storage, vetoed bills that would weaken our background check system and harm public safety and called for common sense legislation like extreme risk protective orders to prevent future tragedies. In 2019, the Governor directed state agencies to take increased action on closing crime reporting gaps between state and federal agencies. The Governor’s budget proposal will be released in the coming days and will include investments in school and community safety, including the Office of Violence Prevention.
“Partnerships are key to public safety,” said Secretary of the Department of Public Safety Eddie Buffaloe. “This new office will increase our capacity to support our local partners and I look forward to our strengthened collaboration. This office fulfills a recommendation made by the Task Force for Racial Equity in Criminal Justice to support local efforts to develop violence prevention programs.”
“A public health approach driven by data and informed by those most impacted will improve community safety and save lives in North Carolina," Secretary of the Department of Health and Human Services Kody Kinsley said. "We will build on the already successful programs across the state — layering those approaches to meet the needs of specific communities and mitigate violence."
“Violence doesn’t just damage those who are directly impacted – it can be traumatic to the entire community,” said Attorney General Josh Stein. “We can help break these devastating cycles of violence by investing in our communities, taking some common sense gun violence prevention measures, and strengthening partnerships between law enforcement and the people they serve.”
Read more about the Office of Violence Prevention here.