News

July drill tests emergency preparedness, response

White anthrax-like powder and shotgun bullet casings peppered the floor of a building surrounded by men carrying AR-14 assault rifles.

Though this sounds like a scene from a Quentin Tarantino movie, it actually describes the Memorial classroom building on July 28, when the University of Miami hosted a police training exercise to test emergency response.

After the Virginia Tech shootings on April 16, many universities, including UM, decided to update their emergency response plans to prepare for a similar crisis.

The training exercises, also known as Operation Sandbox, included 19 muncipalties such as the City of Coral Gables Police and Fire Departments, U.S. Customs and Border Protection and the FBI. Additionally, more than 100 students (some feigning injuries) participated.

The university invited representatives from every ACC school to attend the police training event, including Virginia Tech Police Chief Wendell Flinchum.

Police officers said the exercises were necessary to test equipment and communication between organizations.

“It gives us a chance to work with other agencies and play with new toys,” said Officer Frank Johnson, spokesperson for the CGPD. “With something of this magnitude, we are seeing how we will be able to communicate with each other in the case of a real event and what problems may come up.”

Although the event lacked the pressures, uncertainties and fear of a real crisis, the institutions involved arranged multiple scenarios to mimic crisis situations. A crisis control center was set up behind Mahoney-Pearson to interact with those involved in the simulations.

“The supervisors were aware of the fake scenarios beforehand, but they were told not to share this information with the SWAT teams and bomb squads,” said John P. Pepper, UM’s crime prevention coordinator. “Ideally the practice still holds an element of surprise.”

By the end of the day, the leaders of the exercises were pleased with the final analysis of the day-long event.

“[The] University of Miami is highly prepared, along with our law enforcement partners, to handle anything,” said UM Police Chief David Rivero.

Karyn Meshbane may be contacted at k.meshbane@umiami.edu

THIS ARTICLE ORIGINALLY RAN ONLINE AUG. 1, 2007.

September 13, 2007

Reporters

The Miami Hurricane

Student newspaper at the University of Miami


Around the Web
  • Miami Herald
  • UM News
  • Error

With the University of Miami season opener closing in, the next starting quarterback has yet to be n ...

The second fall scrimmage, closed to the media and public, is over. University of Miami coach Mark R ...

1. DOLPHINS: Fins any good? 'Dress rehearsal' may tell: Opening win, then lopsided loss. W ...

University of Miami linebacker Jamie Gordinier has had another unfortunate setback, effectively side ...

The calmest coach on the planet got mad Friday after football practice. University of Miami coach Ma ...

UM’s new chief academic officer holds some 40 patents, and in 2017 was inducted into the National Ac ...

University of Miami students and researchers are blogging during a month-long expedition in the Gulf ...

María de Lourdes Dieck-Assad, a world-renowned economist and former ambassador, fills a new role for ...

Through the U Dreamers Grant, DACA students find essential support as they pursue their college degr ...

UM students talk about their internships up north in a city that never sleeps. ...

RSS Error: A feed could not be found at http://www.hurricanesports.com/. A feed with an invalid mime type may fall victim to this error, or SimplePie was unable to auto-discover it.. Use force_feed() if you are certain this URL is a real feed.

TMH Twitter Feed
About TMH

The Miami Hurricane is the student newspaper of the University of Miami in Coral Gables, Fla. The newspaper is edited and produced by undergraduate students at UM and is published weekly on Thursdays during the regular academic year.