Security guards in tactical gear joined the rest of campus in a lockdown drill today to ensure that students and faculty members were at appropriate and secure locations in the case of an active shooter.
This is the first time security has participated in a drill with the entire community on campus, Head of Security Jim Crawford said. In the past, they have enacted their drills on an empty campus.
“We can’t give direction to an empty campus,” Crawford said. “We have practiced getting those areas when there’s nobody here, but not when there are cars, kids and maybe some obstacles that we have to think through when we get through these different areas of the school.”
The guards attempted to open classrooms from all buildings on campus, which created a more authentic experience for students, Taylor Lacour ’19 said.
“I think it helped,” Lacour said. “I was terrified when they rattled the doors, but it made it more realistic. I think I will be more prepared in the future.”
Crawford said he hoped the presence of guards will demonstrate what their position is on campus.
“We want [the community] to know that we’ve got your guys’ backs,” Crawford said. “We’re really not parking checkers. We are really here to protect you guys. This is the best way to give an inside look of what these guys do in the event that something is going to happen.”
Although the presence of security guards helped to create a more realistic situation, Lauren McGee ’20 said it did highlight a sense of levity many students and teachers have during campus-wide drills.
“It was almost like there wasn’t a drill,” McGee said. “We were just sitting silent. I still heard noises in other classrooms. It does help us prepare us for an actual lockdown, but I do think there should be more to make it more serious. Even if it’s a drill or not, it should be taken seriously.”
Given the increase of school shootings and security issues across the nation, Crawford said he hopes the drill will increase preparedness not only at school but also in all public situations.
“These things can happen anywhere,” Crawford said. “We want to encourage the community here to look and be aware of what’s going on and to talk about what we are going to do if we hear gunshots on campus and are on lockdown mode.”