Aug 13, 2014
By Gretchen Gregory
The Ohio University Police Department is conducting annual Active Shooter Response Training for its police officers on campus Thursday and Friday and the campus community is encouraged to avoid Piggery Lane at The Ridges and the western section of Southside Park in the City of Athens.
The summer training is held each year to ensure officers know the latest techniques and have an opportunity to practice and fine tune their skills when responding to a report of an active shooter. The officers’ performance will be reviewed in a debriefing to identify any opportunities for improvement.
“We try and keep our skills fresh and up-to-date, and it’s an opportunity to apply those skills and refine them in keeping with best practices,” said OUPD Chief Andrew Powers. “While — thankfully — it turned out to be a false alarm, the recent report of a possible shooting at Gamertsfelder Hall demonstrated the importance of this training. In that case, officers were on scene in less than two minutes, an emergency text and email were sent within 13 minutes, and within 15 minutes we had 24 police officers conducting a systematic search of the East Green. That response was a direct result of the regular training we do to prepare officers for this type of call.”
Multiple police cruisers and officers will be in the area on Thursday and Friday, and — just as in a real active shooter situation — the public is asked to avoid the area.
“We want to make sure people are aware of the training in case they happen to see it, but we don’t want people showing up or hanging around to watch,” Powers said. “Officers will be firing simulated ammunition — similar to paint balls — from their actual duty weapons, so there is a potential risk of injury to people in the area,” Powers noted.
Police tape will encompass the area and limit access, and officers also will secure the perimeter and alert pedestrians they should steer clear of the area.
Community members interested in learning more about what they can do if they find themselves confronting an active shooter are encouraged to watch OUPD’s ALiCE (Alert, Lockdown, Inform, Counter, and Evacuate) training video here and attend one of the public ALiCE training sessions planned this fall.