Killing of Police Officer Prompts Changes at Winston-Salem State

WINSTON-SALEM, N.C. – After a Winston-Salem State University (WSSU) student allegedly shot a police officer to death, a joint commission released a list of recommendations to the university’s chancellor on June 28.

The commission formed after police charged student Keith Carter with the killing of Winston-Salem Police Sgt. Howard Plouff. Carter had previously applied for five handgun permits at the sheriff’s office.

The commission was comprised of members of the University of North Carolina (UNC) system, the Winston-Salem Police Department, the Forsyth County District Attorney’s Office, as well as students, trustees, university police and student-affairs staff.

Recommendations included:

  • Improving the relationship between students and campus police
  • Developing a system for the university to communicate information about students in violation of the law with local law-enforcement
  • Creating more activities for students, including off-campus volunteer work•
  • Having the Forsyth County Sheriff’s Office notify WSSU when a student applies for a handgun permit

The final report will be posted on the university’s Web site,, in a few weeks.

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