Law enforcement carrying large, realistic weapons flooded ECU’s campus Tuesday, practicing their response if the event of an active shooter at the school were to happen.
Both ECU and Greenville police participated in the drill.
“It’s just really an exercise to test just cooperation between the two agencies,” said Greenville police Chief Mark Holtzman. “Really look for our strengths and weaknesses as we begin to continue to improve our strategy when it comes to responding to any type of incident at the university or around our community.”
Teams have been training with different table-top exercises but are now putting that training into practice.
Training started out with an “active shooter” inside Todd Dining Hall on College Hill.
As part of the drill, the shooter injured people inside and took a hostage.
Police say a dining hall is very real threat, much like a movie theater or concert venue.
“It’s a location where there is not a lot of cover for individuals to be able to hide, so it’s a very real opportunity for officers to be able to consider the challenges that they’d face responding to something like that and then overcoming those challenges,” said Chris Sutton with ECU police.
Crews then split up, responding to another nearby threat connected to the incident taking place on campus, a car bomb.
“We have joint operations in a unified command post that’s running and trying to identify other issues that we can correct before this becomes a real-world incident,” said Sutton. “Because it’s possible. Not a matter of if but when.”
ECU staff had a chance to practice as well.
Staff sent out an ECU emergency alert and kept the public informed on social media, just like they would in a real situation on campus.