July 22, 2021
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UWG Police officers enter the staged training field, while a student portraying an innocent bystander holds his hands up in response to the officers' demands.
UWG Police officers enter the staged training field, while a student portraying an innocent bystander holds his hands up in response to the officers' demands.

The University of West Georgia Police Department (UPD), in partnership with Carrollton Police Department and Carroll County Sheriff’s Office, hosted an active shooter training exercise on-campus earlier this month, preparing first responders to isolate and neutralize an active shooter, as well as administer aid during the staged crisis.

“We constantly assess and reassess our training, operations and policies to ensure we deliver the best safety and security to our university that we can,” said Dr. George “Ned” Watson, UPD’s chief. “This active shooter training exercise is an example of our high level of preparedness, as well as our efforts to maintain our excellent relationship with local law enforcement.”

The training exercise entailed multiple officers entering an active threat space designed to train them on responding to an active shooter, portrayed by a sergeant in UPD during the exercise. During the numerous runs of the exercise, officers were given exposure to various aspects of the response, with students from the Tanner Health System School of Nursing serving as “victims” of the event.

Members of UWG's Executive Policy Group (from left: Dr. André Fortune, vice president for student affairs; Dr. Meredith Brunen, vice president for university advancement; Dr. Brendan Kelly, president; Dr. Russell Crutchfield, associate vice president and chief of staff; and Annemarie Eades, vice president for administrative services) discuss opportunities for improvement to the university's crisis response during a tabletop exercise earlier this month.
Members of UWG's Executive Policy Group (from left: Dr. André Fortune, vice president for student affairs; Dr. Meredith Brunen, vice president for university advancement; Dr. Brendan Kelly, president; Dr. Russell Crutchfield, associate vice president and chief of staff; and Annemarie Eades, vice president for administrative services) discuss opportunities for improvement to the university's crisis response during a tabletop exercise earlier this month.

Following the active shooter exercise, UWG officials hosted a casualty planning workshop and a tabletop exercise with university leadership and subject matter experts from across the university in which a hypothetical situation was presented to identify areas in which best practices could be implemented.

“Tragic events like this continue to increase the demand for training that teaches law enforcement and everyone involved how to best respond to an emergency situation,” said Michael Nelson, UWG’s director of emergency management who organized the day’s events. “It is incredibly important we stay trained so we are prepared to respond quickly and effectively – and share pertinent information with our university and the public – in the event of an emergency.”

If you are a member of the UWG community, please download the LiveSafe app to receive important safety alerts from the university.