East Carolina University police officers responded – multiple times – to reports of a gunman in a residence hall on campus July 8-12. Fortunately, it was just part of a weeklong training using the Advanced Law Enforcement Rapid Response Training curriculum.
Training through realistic drills such as the July 8-12 training at East Carolina University helps police officers prepare for worst-case situations.
“This force-on-force training where officers can interact with role players serving as the suspects provides a real-life training environment, where officers are able to practice active shooter response techniques,” said Lt. Chris Sutton with the ECU Police Department.
Six instructors from ECU, N.C. Central University and Raleigh police departments led the training for the 14 law enforcement officers from ECU and UNC-Wilmington on July 11, when the featured video was filmed. Vidant and Winterville police departments also attended training during the week.
The exercises involved actors and simulated use of weapons in Tyler Residence Hall. Having the scenarios be as realistic as possible is important, Sutton said, including having simulated ammunition fired between the suspects and the officers.
“Having the effect of Simunition rounds reinforces the officers’ skills and techniques. You are able to review at the end of the scenario where your shot placement was for accuracy,” he said. “And while you can’t replicate the stress of a real-world incident, this as close as we can make it.”
Sutton said the instruction is an example of the university’s goal to provide a safe campus for faculty, staff and students.
“Parents trust us with their most prized possession – their children – when they send them here to receive a higher education. It’s our responsibility to provide them with the safest learning environment that we can, that’s under our control.”