Each year the UC Santa Barbara police department holds training exercises on or around campus that focus on an active shooter scenario. The exercises enable officers to hone their responses in settings as close as possible to real life.
This year, the daylong trainings are taking place at the UCSB Library. The second of two exercises is slated for Tuesday, June 26; the first took place June 19. Though the library will remain open, areas involved in the trainings will be closed to the public. The exercise will begin at 8 a.m. and conclude at 5 p.m.
According to Sgt. Matt Bowman, UCPD active shooter scenario trainings over the past eight years have been held in various locations on campus — residence halls, Storke Tower and the Counseling and Psychology Services (CAPS) Center. “Really our goal is to have our officers train in spaces in which the potential exists for what they might have to respond to,” he said.
“We can watch videos on the topic and we can do tabletop exercises,” Bowman continued, “but actually having our officers immerse themselves in scenario-based training to make it as realistic as possible while maintaining a safe training environment is the most effective.”
Drills like this have become best practice in higher education, and are strongly recommended by emergency preparedness experts. Over the past few months, library leadership and UCPD have worked in partnership to organize the training. Their primary goal is to keep parts of the library open and accessible to patrons even as the exercises are in progress, with minimal disruption.
Signs will be posted outside the library to alert the campus community that police training is in progress, community service officers and library employees will be on hand to answer questions.
Counselors from CAPS and from the Academic & Staff Assistance Program (ASAP) will be available to assist students and university employees, respectively, affected by the exercises. Turi Honnegger, CAPS clinical director and acting co-director, can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org or at ext. 4411. Kirsten Olson, ASAP manager, is available at email@example.com or at ext. 4358.