Northwest’s University Police Department trains tirelessly to prepare for possible armed intruder situations.
The department participates in training simulations throughout the year, practicing how they should react should an incident occur.A new virtual simulator was recently added to the routine armed intruder training regiment.
Assistant Vice President of Facility Services Allen Mays said there is a virtual firearm simulator for UPD to use.
“We are currently working through a University Police Department firearms simulator,” Mays said. “Basically, that is going to be a training simulator, and it is a computer projector and mobile; you can put it in front of different spaces if you need to move it fairly easily. But it is meant to train the police officers, and people may come here to train as well.”
University Police Chief Clarence Green said the new virtual simulation is meant to help put time into focused training of oral commands.
“We have a virtual simulator, but it does not allow all of our members; we can do two at a time,” Green said. “We will do an exercise usually involving four to five officers on a team. They will actually do the physical parts. The simulator machine will do more verbal commands.”
Despite the new advancements in armed intruder training, Green said students, faculty and staff should be prepared for, but not scared of, an incident occurring.
“We have to prepare for that (armed intruders),” Green said. “Statistics show that these armed intruder incidents have less than a 2% chance of occurring. Perhaps a 1% chance of occurring, but we have to do our due diligence and stay prepared.”
The training occurred in two sections, one in the morning and one in the afternoon. Both sections lasted about four hours and were set up to learn the tactics in a classroom, practice the tactics without the simulation and then finally practice the tactics in the full simulation.
Green said the simulation included many different types of training.
“What we are doing is we will do different maneuvers,” Green said. “How we are going to enter a facility, how we are going to tactically deal with stairs, how we are going to deal with large groups of people, how we are going to clear a room — All of those types of tactics we are really drilling down.”
Green said that armed intruder training occurs multiple times a year, including two full simulation sessions. Remaining sessions are refresher courses.
“We do these three to four times a year just to ensure that we are staying sharp,” Green said. “It is unfortunate that we live in a time where we have to practice, train and drill our campus as well as our officers.”