A campus-wide emergency drill was conducted Thursday morning on the campus of Slippery Rock University in Butler County.
The drill involved university police, the Slippery Rock Police Department and the Slippery Rock Volunteer Fire Department. The drill also allowed the university to test their campus alert system.
Because of the rash of school shootings in recent months and years, SRU officials say it is now more important than ever to be ready in the event of an emergency.
“One of the lessons that we have learned from the many recent tragedies that our country has been witness to, such as what happened in Parkland, Florida, is that you can never be ready enough to respond to all types of situations that might occur on campus,” Paul Novak, SRU’s executive director of planning and environmental health and safety, said.
During Thursday’s drill on SRU’s, police utilized the ALICE method, which stands for Alert, Lockdown, Inform, Counter, Evacuate. The program was developed following the Columbine High School massacre in 1999. It is labeled a “proactive training program that prepares people to handle and respond to the threat of an intruder or active shooter by empowering people to use building and infrastructure technology and human action to increase their chances of survival.”
Since then, more than 4,000 school districts across the country have been trained using ALICE in the event of an active-shooter event.
SRU adopted the ALICE approach three years ago and have four officers that are certified ALICE trainers.
“ALICE was originally configured for the K-12 sector, but was quickly adopted by colleges, universities and hospitals,” SRU Police Chief Mike Simmons said. “The program has a solid foundation so it only made sense that it would bleed over into other areas as well.”