Local residents and everyone who will be on the Texas A&M University campus Thursday (Dec. 18) are reminded that an "active shooter" exercise will be conducted there that afternoon. The exercise involving local and state law enforcement agencies, emergency medical services and hospital personnel is designed to test emergency responses and related activities in the event of a campus incident such as those that have occurred elsewhere in the nation.
Chris Meyer, the university's assistant vice president for safety and security, said that as many as 200 university, city, county and hospital personnel will be participating in the exercise to simulate a situation in which one or more individuals are firing shots on campus. The Texas Engineering Extension Services (TEEX) is also assisting and facilitating the exercise.
"We are earnestly planning and preparing to test for a serious and potentially deadly incident that we obviously hope and pray will never transpire," Meyer said. "We will do everything possible to ensure that we proactively avoid any such incidents, but still, we are determined to be prepared for any eventuality to the fullest extent possible."
Meyer said Thursday was selected for the exercise date because classes have ended for the fall semester and few other activities are scheduled at that time, thus minimizing disruptions of normal operations on campus.
The exercise will include "volunteer actors" serving as victims to add a degree of realism to the exercise, but Meyer emphasized that no weapons will be used and many other precautions will be taken to ensure the safety of everyone who participates in the exercise.
Any communications transmitted via radios or other means will clearly begin and end with the announcement, "this is an exercise," Meyer said.
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