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NCCU tests emergency preparedness in terrorism response drill

Posted January 3, 2013
Updated January 4, 2013

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— Nearly 250 people from 21 law enforcement agencies were involved Thursday in a terrorism response training drill, known as Operation Eagle Swoop, on the campus of North Carolina Central University.

Tactical teams and emergency responders from agencies across the state, including those in Wake, Person and Guilford counties, took part in the five-hour, full-scale operation designed to test the capabilities and preparedness of NCCU's police department, as well as Durham County Emergency Medical Services, the Durham Police Department and Durham County Sheriff's Office.

The training exercise, the largest on a University of North Carolina system campus, included actors portraying gunmen, hostages and victims in an active-shooter scenario in the center of campus and hostage negotiations in two dorms.

NCCU students are on winter break. The university previously notified faculty and staff, as well as surrounding neighbors and businesses, of the day's event.

Since the Virginia Tech massacre in April 2007, universities across the country have held similar training scenarios.

NCCU tests emergency preparedness NCCU tests emergency preparedness

Thursday's drill was the first for NCCU, which, last year, hired Sgt. Robert McLaughlin as its emergency management coordinator.

A retired Durham police officer who served in the department's weapons of mass destruction response unit, McLaughlin oversees such training and works with local law enforcement on such matters.

"This is a chance to test our incident command system, coordination between agencies and different radio frequencies and coordination among police, fire departments and emergency medical teams," McLaughlin said.

He added that the drill isn't just about how officers respond to such events, but that it's also about how agencies work together.

"These are not guys that they work with every day or train with weekly," he said. "These are some who may have never met until today, and now they’re on a team having to work together."

39 Comments

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  • superman Jan 4, 8:15 a.m.

    The school shooting in Conn. could have been much worse. The guy could have walked into the school unarmed-set off the fire alarm. In about 5 minutes there would have been 500-700 students standing outside in groups with the teachers. Emergency training should now also include thar the people lay on the ground. People standing up with be too much of a target.

  • Terkel Jan 3, 6:48 p.m.

    Is there a chance that this was an initial training, and the drills will escalate in degree of reality? Meaning at some point there will be actual students.

  • johnny2times Jan 3, 6:36 p.m.

    Wageslave,

    I am not a bitter guy at all...I just call it like I See it. And I never said I am a police officer.

  • WageSlave Jan 3, 6:07 p.m.

    swedishchef2,

    Must have missed the joke. I believe he is getting at the fact that terrorist situations involving guns cannot happen here legally because it is a gun free zone. However, we all know that this only enables the bad guy (hence the cue for eliminating gun free zones.

    You sounds like you are a pretty bitter guy. If you don't like being a police officer then get a new job. I respect the police and everything they do. But at the end of the day they are a servant to the public, and we all know that is a difficult role.

  • johnny2times Jan 3, 6:00 p.m.

    But, I thought these were Gun Free Zones??

    Click to view my profile Caveman93
    January 3, 2013 5:52 p.m

    And after reading this story, this is your biggest concern? Wow...talk about nit picking..

  • johnny2times Jan 3, 5:58 p.m.

    But, I thought these were Gun Free Zones??

    Click to view my profile Caveman93
    January 3, 2013 5:52 p.m

    They were unloaded...as seen in the picture...

  • WageSlave Jan 3, 5:56 p.m.

    GravyPig,

    Sure, I see what your saying. However, I think the mass hysteria is going to be elevated when police crews are darting in from all directions. I guess I am questioning how effective the drills are going to be without the student base present. Its like the schools doing tornado drills without the kids. You kind of need everyone to know procedure.

    Also, my last comment was directed at lifting the "gun free" zone from campus. I think a good collaboration of well trained police and well trained, but armed citizens create the best case scenario. At least let the "victims" have a chance to protect themselves and friends.

  • Caveman93 Jan 3, 5:52 p.m.

    But, I thought these were Gun Free Zones??

  • johnny2times Jan 3, 5:46 p.m.

    So people on here are upset because the police are taking steps and training on how to protect your crying but when YOU NEED THE POLICE...and if the police did not train and something did happen, you all would be asking why were they not trained enough? Law Enforcement can never win. When your getting shot at by a gunman, call your local crack head. Better yet conduct some training of your own and then solve all your own problems and leave the police alone. I'm sure the police have better things to do other than dealing with your problems that YOU can't resolve...like using them as an intimidation tool because your kid won't wake up to go to school or church....or you and your spouse are having an argument and can't be mature enough to work it out yourselves. You people have no idea what "hats" officers HAVE to wear every day.

  • Jim-Jones Jan 3, 5:26 p.m.

    I didn't vote because the election was rigged for the globalists to win. This is big folks! They're coming for our personal rights! 1984!

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