Glen Oaks Community College News Article (generic - no featured image)

Glen Oaks and SJC Sheriff’s Office conduct joint disaster drill

Representatives from Glen Oaks Community College and the
St. Joseph County Sheriff’s Office conducted a joint emergency preparedness drill on
Tuesday, Feb. 9, to provide college employees and local and state law enforcement
agencies the opportunity to practice responding to an active shooter incident on
campus.

Participants from public safety and medical response agencies in the county also played
a role in the staged event. “This is the first time that we have conducted an active
shooter drill on campus,” said T. J. Baker, director of emergency services for St. Joseph
County and coordinator of the event. “This is as much a drill for our law enforcement
employees as it is for the employees at the college.”

“We purposely selected a day when there were no classes due to a Faculty In-Service,”
said Baker. “By doing so, it allowed everyone to better focus on their roles should an
active shooter incident occur.”

“This is really an effort to protect everyone, our employees and students, in case of a
real emergency,” said Pam Cary, Glen Oaks human resources director. “In light of
recent shootings on college campuses, faculty and staff at the college have attended
active shooter training sessions to obtain the tools and knowledge necessary to guide
them in what to do in case of a real emergency.”

As part of the drill, radio communications were conducted on a different frequency so
as not to tie up the 911 communications.

“We hope to learn where the strengths and weaknesses are from this scenario,” said
Baker, who conducted a debriefing following the drill with all participants.”

Participating in the drill were: St. Joseph County Sheriff’s Office; police departments
from Centreville, Three Rivers, Constantine, White Pigeon, Mendon, Colon and Burr
Oak; Sturgis Public Safety Dept., Michigan State Police, Three Rivers Health and Sturgis
Hospital; the fire departments from Centreville, Three Rivers, and Tri-County Township,
and West Michigan Air Care and LifeCare Ambulance Service.

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