Active shooter exercise provides necessary training

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active shooterBREMERTON — An active shooter drill on the campus of Olympic College in Bremerton allowed more than 100 officers, medics and first responders to get hands-on training in the event of a shooting incident close to home. Nearby hospitals also participated, conducting mass casualty exercises.

The exercise had been planned for months and police were being trained to face the worst scenario possible — multiple shooters inside a crowded college science building. Medics were trained to attend to the wounded and move them away from danger while college personnel provided support.

Olympic College is one of a growing number of schools that are wired to increase security.

College communications director Amanda Gebhardt Fuentes said, “If we did go into lockdown, the entire campus — with one click of the mouse — would be locked to keep it safe.”

“I’m sure there will be some things that we’ve learned from this,” college president David Mitchell said. “I already know of a couple things we can look at, so there will be multiple things that will be better.”

Throughout the morning a red, white and blue reminder waived in the wind overhead. Flags were at half-staff to remember those that died in the shooting at the naval yard in Washington D.C. earlier this week.

Scott Wilson with the Kitsap County Sheriff’s Office said that it was unfortunate to have to hold such training drills, but because of the current climate and “events of the world,” it was necessary to have such training to “guard against or respond to” any violent incidents.

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  • Mary

    Planned for months? On the last day of registration, the last day the students can go and change classes if needed, the last day before Fall Quarter begins? Very poor planning OC and DHS.

  • Astudent

    I say its excellent that they train at all for this. No time of the year is convenient and realistically a shooting would occur when its not convenient for anyone.
    A couple of observances though…I would say that some of the scenario is unrealistic. Most campus shootings have a lone gunman. I would also say that the most likely target would be the HSS building where Financial aid, Campus HR, the STEPP payment desk, and registration desks are. The mentally unstable student who gets angry enough to go postal usually has staff in mind that was the party of "NO".
    In addition to that, due to the long line of students waiting for their Financial Aid number to come up, the body count would be significant.

    I understand that the science building was the best place to do the drill without too much disruption — but in the interest of saving lives and providing the most security, I would say that HSS building ought to be the focus of the next drill if any are done in the future.

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