Drill tests ECU's preparedness of on-campus shooting scenario

By: Teddy Safo Email
By: Teddy Safo Email

ADA, Okla. -- East Central University shut down campus for an intensive law enforcement drill on Friday of which the scenario was an on-campus shooting.

Only a handful of people knew about the drill, which was meant to test the preparedness of the university if such an event were to occur.

ECU shut down for four hours as school and state officials simulated an on-campus shooting similar to the event that happened at Virginia Tech last year.

The event was organized by the Oklahoma State Bureau of Investigation and East Central University officials. ECU president Dr. Richard Rafeus says this is the first time their campus has held such an event.

"The likelihood of this happening at school is unlikely but it’s important for the police paramedics all the other entities work together to address these issues," Dr. Rafeus said.

University officials say campus shootings are often hard, if not impossible, to predict. That is why ECU spent the last three days working with the Oklahoma State Bureau of Investigation putting the drill together.

"We tried to make it as authentic as possible. We didn’t notify anybody, but we did tell the neighbors right before it occurred that it was going to occur."

The simulation was as real as it gets, complete with gun shell casings and police officers running up and down the halls with their guns drawn.

Nearly 100 people took part in the drill, including local high school students who pretended to be victims. OSBI spokesman Jessica Brown said overall the drill was efficient, but that communication was an issue.

"You can never be a good enough communicator, especially when your talking about different agencies, getting them together, sharing information, so I know that’s something we need to work on," Brown said.

In the end, Brown says it is the safety of the students that matters most.

"We get there as efficiently as possible, make sure there are as few victims as possible, stop the aggression as quickly as possible. That’s’ why we do these exercises."


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