April 1, 2015

Wayne State University Police Department prepares to handle crisis situations with active shooter training

The site of the former Criminal Justice Building at 6001 Cass Avenue could easily have been mistaken last Friday as a film set – or

The site of the former Criminal Justice Building at 6001 Cass Avenue could easily have been mistaken last Friday as a film set – or worse, a major disaster. 

With lights flashing and sirens sounding, several Wayne State University Police Department (WSUPD) scout cars converged on the area. Heavily armed officers swept through on foot and were seen evacuating persons from the building; those appearing to be injured were moved to a triage area where ambulances and medical personnel were standing by.  

But these activities were all part of a mock active shooter training exercise and drill designed to provide crisis training for WSUPD. Nearly two dozen students volunteered as actors, playing a variety of roles and sporting mock gunshot wounds, theatre blood and other graphic makeup. 

“This multifaceted simulation served as an excellent test for our police officers in a realistic and high-adrenaline drill,” said Wayne State University Police Chief Anthony Holt. “Evaluators closely observed our officers, beginning with the initial emergency call to our dispatchers and continuing throughout the scenario until the active shooter was neutralized and the campus area secured.”

The actual training exercise, which ran about an hour, included a series of challenges designed to test and evaluate WSUPD’s capabilities in various areas including emergency response time, responder techniques and strategies, communications, equipment availability, K-9 capabilities, and safety practice and procedures. 

Holt said the departmentwide active shooter scenario training exercises have been conducted twice before at other campus locations.    

“These types of mock exercises require several weeks of preparation and coordination on the part of every member of our police department,” Holt said. “The training benefit and deployment evaluation is valuable to the department as we strive to be optimally prepared to handle crisis situations.”

Students, faculty and staff can receive campus safety alerts and other important university messages through text messages, email, and IM.  Visit the University Broadcast Messaging Service at broadcast.wayne.edu to register/update your cell phone information, and to set your message delivery preferences.

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