May 11, 2012
A situation involving an active shooter is something no law enforcement officer ever wants to face. Unfortunately with violence incidents occurring in schools, daycares, hospitals, and even churches, officers must be prepared for the possibility. In an active shooter situation, a well-prepared on-site team can minimize the loss of life in those first 10-20 minutes before an outside SWAT team arrives.
The Saint Francis University Police Department has been taking part in a systemic training program that included Public Violence Active Shooter classroom training in April at Indiana University of Pennsylvania. That training was conducted by Lt. Col. David Grossman, an internationally recognized scholar, author, soldier, and speaker who is one of the world's foremost experts in the field of human aggression and the roots of violence and violent crime.
On May 8, the theory/best practices format from Grossman’s training was coupled with a scenario drill on campus conducted by the Cambria County S.E.R.T. (Special Emergency Response Team). The live drill focused on practicing techniques to enter a building held by an active shooter and take control of the situation in order to minimize number of victims.
No students or employees other than responders were in the building that day. Additional trainings are planned for faculty, staff, and students so everyone on campus is familiar with their role in emergency preparedness and campus safety, particularly in an active shooter situation.
"The very highest priority of our Police is to protect our students from harm. We welcome opportunities to work with local agencies to learn and practice advanced training techniques such in this exercise scenario," said Don Miles, Director of Risk Management at Saint Francis.
The University maintains a professional police force consisting of a sergeant, five full-time uniformed officers, and three part-time uniformed officers . All officers are armed and trained in firearm usage. Each officer is a graduate of the Pennsylvania Police Academy and has arrest powers in the state of Pennsylvania.