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Mock shooting on MSSU campus test police, students and staff - KOAM TV 7

Mock shooting on MSSU campus test police, students and staff

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Students, staff, campus and Joplin police responded to a mock shooting this morning on the campus of Missouri Southern State University.

The active shooter scenario drill was a staged event as a test of the response time of both MSSU officers and Joplin police.

Being the closest, the MSSU officers arrived first on the scene following a report of a mock shooting inside the new Health Sciences building.  The officers approached with weapons drawn as a loud speaker overhead warned students and neighbors of an incident.

At a separate entrance actors representing shooting victims exited to a triage area where they were treated by Joplin EMS and paramedics.

Eventually, police emerged from the front of the building with one mock suspect being arrested.
The drill tests how officers work together and their ability to communicate and MSSU Police Chief Ken Kennedy says lessons were learned.

"We found that Health Sciences building is really a dead zone - hard radios didn't work very well in that building so we've got to look at ways to  rectify that  problem," says Kennedy.  "The other thing was we wanted to get the students out as fast as possible.  We just secured the floor where the incident occurred - they were treated in 20 minutes.  Phenomenal really."

"We all know about the situations that have happened-occurred in our culture recently so we have to make sure we're prepared for something if this happens," says MSSU President Bruce Speck.

Officials say there were a few hiccups, but that's why they have the training.

"What we learned at our Memorial Middle School shooting that agencies are coming from all across the area and so we feel it's important that we work with other agencies so we're all on the same page," says Lt. Matt Stewart of the Joplin Police Department.

While officers ran the drill outside, the university president and other officials gathered to practice sending out alerts which  go out via email, building intercoms, a phone tree system and the school website.

The practice is paid for with a $400,000 Emergency Management and Higher Education Grant.  Officials say there's enough for another drill in the spring.

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