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Brunswick County, N.C. – In keeping with best practices and in an effort to ensure the safety of judges, staff, and the public, the Brunswick County Sheriff’s Office along with Brunswick County Court Officials will be holding an active shooter training exercise inside the Brunswick County Courthouse the afternoon of Thursday, June 21st. An administrative order has been issued to close the courthouse to the public during this time. Any member of the public who needs to file something after 12:00 p.m. can do so at the Magistrates’ Office located at the Brunswick County Detention Center, 70 Stamp Act Drive, Bolivia, NC. The Sheriff’s Office will begin clearing the courthouse of all non-authorized personnel and conduct the staging for the drill from 12:00 – 1:00 p.m. The training exercise will be held from 1:00 – 5:00 p.m.

Potential threats and harm can come in many forms: extreme weather, fires, and various acts of violence. As an organization that is concerned with the well-being of its personnel and customers, court officials seek to provide a safe and secure environment and to have proper measures in place for responding to emergency situations should they occur. Effective crisis planning, response, and recovery capabilities are essential for us to meet the latter objective.

Although situations involving an active, armed assailant on courthouse property are extremely rare, courts are increasingly considering how to best prepare for and respond to this type of event. According to the U.S. Department of Homeland Security and the Federal Bureau of Investigation an armed assailant is defined as an armed person who attempts to use deadly force on others, typically in a confined and populated area. The term active shooter refers to those assailants who use firearms, as opposed to knives or other weapons.

The primary purposes of an armed assailant drill are to build knowledge and skills for responding when presented with varying scenarios and to help law enforcement and court leaders identify and correct deficiencies in knowledge, communication, coordination, and decision-making. Court officials simply seek to save lives by preparing and empowering tenants of the courthouse to respond appropriately should the need ever arise.

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