Temple Police conducted an active-shooter drill Thursday morning in Peabody Residence Hall along with a test of the TU sirens on the Main and Health Sciences campuses.
The siren did not work at HSC, said Charlie Leone, the executive director of Campus Safety Services. However, the cause for the failure should be figured out by the “end of the day,” he added.
Sarah Powell, the university’s director of emergency management, said there was a similar malfunction with the HSC siren in early April when TUPD staged its first shelter-in-place drill, but in a test a week later, the siren worked.
“The only way we’re going to figure out these problems is if we’re doing them, using the systems,” she said.
Between 50 and 60 people were involved in the active-shooter drill including actors, officers and controllers who oversee the different entities in the drill like the university’s Emergency Medical Service, Leone said.
In 2015, when TUPD completed its active-shooter drill in the now-demolished Barton Hall, which stood where the new library is under construction, Powell said the university didn’t have a widely communicated lockdown procedure.
Now, Temple has a procedure set in place for how to deal with things like concerned parents and media outlets calling Temple Police for information while an emergency is happening — including a “lite site,” which is a temporary website holding basic information about the university for people to ensure that the servers wouldn’t get overloaded and crash.
Leone said because Peabody will be empty this coming year, officers were able to practice “breaching” which includes forceful entry of rooms.
“You wouldn’t want us to … start kicking doors in and breaking doors off the hinges and cutting chains off of things,” Leone said. “So when we’re in buildings like [Peabody], we can mark areas where they can go in and they can actually practice the skills on breaching. When we did [the drill] in 1300 [Residence Hall], we obviously couldn’t do that.”
Temple Police will hold trainings for its officers throughout the summer and upcoming academic year for active-shooter situations, but the times and locations of those trainings aren’t yet finalized.
Julie Christie can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org or on Twitter @ChristieJules.