ROBESON COUNTY, N.C. (WBTW) — Robeson County school officials have approved the addition of seven sheriff’s deputies to serve as school resource officers, according to Sheriff Burnis Wilkins.

“While this may not be the fix all, it is definitely a step in the right direction in protecting our students and staff,” Wilkins said in a Facebook post. “The sheriff’s office will continue to train all of its sworn personnel in realistic Active Shooter/Rapid Deployment scenario based training as it has done for years. While we hope to never see anything here as has been seen all over the country, our deputies stand ready to protect and serve without delay.”

Wilkins also said his department is also planning to offer “informative training” to schools, churches and businesses. The Prevention and Response to the Active Shooter in Houses of Worship forum at Robeson Community College in 2020 was well-received, he said.

“It will take us all working together to make not only our schools safer but the workplace and home as well,” Wilkins said. “Be vigilant and report any suspicious activity that could be potentially harmful to anyone. That ‘gut’ feeling that everyone has experienced at some point could be the difference in life or death.

Wilkins’ also said school leaders are working on plans for additional safety measures.