PREPARATION — West Liberty College Police Officers John Haglock, left, and Megan Talkington take part in an energetic shooter drill on campus Thursday. — Derek Redd

WEST LIBERTY — West Liberty College Police Chief Ron Fox, when one other mass capturing hits the information, typically hears from others that such a tragedy would by no means occur in a city like West Liberty.

However Fox stated a small city just like the one which homes the West Liberty College campus is strictly the kind of place the place such shootings do occur.

Fox needs the West Liberty campus to be as ready as doable in case the worst ever occurs, so the college held its first energetic shooter drill on its grounds Thursday afternoon. The drill, which was held within the WLU Corridor of Positive Arts constructing, included not simply the college police division, but in addition the Ohio County Sheriff’s Workplace, the Ohio County Homeland Safety and Emergency Administration Company, the West Liberty Fireplace Division and WLU’s Vital Incident Response Workforce.

Mass shootings in Uvalde, Texas, and Buffalo, N.Y., have introduced mass shootings again to the forefront of the general public consciousness, however Fox stated he has been serious about conducting a drill like this for for much longer. The drill doubtless would have occurred earlier if not for limitations from the COVID-19 pandemic.

“We’ve been planning this for fairly some time,” Fox stated. “You possibly can see the information and see all of the issues which are happening throughout the nation. Our purpose is to be ready. You possibly can study from everyone.

“This was our first drill, so our purpose was to maintain getting higher and hold coaching,” he added. “We wish to be ready for that day.”

Retired Ohio County Sheriff’s Deputy Matt Moore portrayed the shooter, who got here down a hallway on the effective arts constructing with a 12-gauge shotgun. The response included campus-wide e-mail communication and real-time response from native public security businesses and first responders.

Legislation enforcement officers have been tasked with securing the realm, subduing the shooter and caring for victims as EMTs arrived to move these victims out of the constructing and to the hospital. These officers got here in a number of waves, looking out not just for the suspect, however for victims and those that have been hiding and wanted to flee safely.

Ohio County Sheriff Tom Howard stated an additional advantage to the WLU drill was that senior counselors from the West Virginia Sheriffs Affiliation Youth Management Academy — which is being held on the college — have been capable of take part and get a style of what their doable future calling could possibly be.

Howard’s deputies have participated in lots of drills like Thursdays, and he stated they at all times respect the chance to hone their abilities.

“All coaching is sweet coaching,” he stated.

WLU President W. Franklin Evans stated the drill was an excellent addition to the coaching his campus police obtain, and that it was good to see simply how legislation enforcement and first responders from all through the realm would react to such an occasion at West Liberty.

“We’re so grateful to the various security businesses and professionals that have been concerned at this time on this necessary follow session,” Evans stated. “I’m sure that the drill will present invaluable classes and suggestions in retaining the campus, our college students, staff and guests protected.

“It’s reassuring to know that West Liberty College has so many security professionals helping campus on these issues,” he added

Fox stated he and his officers will evaluation what went proper and what went improper from Thursday’s drill and use that information to get higher. Proper after the drill, he stated officers did an excellent job in initially addressing the scenario and neutralizing the risk, however may have been extra attentive in ensuring all areas have been safe later within the occasion.

“You wish to be nearly as good as you could be,” Fox stated. “(Current mass shootings) simply reaffirm that it’s not going away. … It could occur and we simply should be prepared.”

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