Analysis of 2024 ‘active threat’ training

April 29, 2024

Analysis of 2024 ‘active threat’ training

by Kim Rendfeld

CARBONDALE, Ill. — The 2024 annual emergency exercises were successful, allowing professionals in several campus departments to ascertain how the university provides services for its community in the hours after an immediate threat to safety has passed, officials say.

On April 24, first responders, university leaders and the Emergency Operations Center (EOC) walked through an “active threat” scenario, after the shooter had died. In a compressed timeframe, the university’s tasks included gathering evidence and investigating the crime, finding new space for displaced students, reunifying students with families, counseling, communications and more.

“In general, the exercises went well,” said Ben Newman, director of public safety and chief of police. “While we hope we never have to face such a situation, these simulations help us have necessary discussions about procedures and be better prepared in case it does happen.”

Strengths included:

  • Quickly gathering information on “victims” and sharing it internally.
  • Continuing to provide counseling at several locations and to serve students and families at the reunification center.
  • Preparing scripts for a “press conference” and creating templates for emergency messaging.
  • Setting up a “vigil.”
  • Determining procedures for greeting and briefing state officials who might visit campus.

In addition, the groups discussed technology resources and longer-term planning for classes, finals and campus events.

The exercises were also an opportunity to promote the free LiveSafe app, which allows two-way communication between users and the SIU Police Department. It is available on the Apple App Store and Google Play. It will be used in addition to Rave, which sends emergency messages via text and email.