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The GW Hatchet


The GW Hatchet

Serving the GW Community since 1904

The GW Hatchet

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GW to conduct planned active shooter drill Friday

The University will conduct an active shooter drill Friday morning, GW said Monday.

GW’s Office of Safety and Security will run the exercise from 9 a.m. until noon, according to a University release. The drill will test the University’s response times in an emergency and the effectiveness of communication between offices like University Human Resources, the Division of Student Affairs and the University Police Department.

Senior Associate Vice President for Safety and Security Darrell Darnell said in the release that the drill will mimic a real active shooter situation as closely as possible.

“Some of the folks from my office who are participating don’t know the location because we want them to act as if this were a real situation. The people participating know there will be an exercise, and they know the time and day it will occur,” he said. “But they don’t know the scenario, and they don’t know where it will occur. They don’t know how it will play out. And that includes me. I don’t know the details. So, I’ll be acting in real-time as well.”

GW Hospital, the Medical Faculty Associates, the Metropolitan Police Department and the D.C. Homeland Security Emergency Management Agency will participate in the drill according to the release. Kevin Donahue, D.C.’s deputy mayor for public safety, will also be involved.

In its University Emergency Operations Plan, GW lists “active shooter” as one of the most likely hazards on campus. Other hazards include severe weather, suspicious packages and public health emergencies.

Officials talked through steps of its active shooter plan two years ago, Darnell said in the release.

“That was what we called a ‘table-top’ exercise, which was basically a decision-making discussion where we went through the actions we would take in the event of an active shooter on campus. Now, we’re following up on that, where we have assets involved that would actually respond. This exercise puts the scenario into an operational space,” Darnell said.

After a series of shootings on college campuses last month, University President Steven Knapp said GW had plans in place to respond to an active shooter and that several offices in and outside of the University collaborate on campus security plans.

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