CSUB conducts emergency response drill

April 30, 2008
Kathy Miller, 661/654-2456, kmiller26@csub.edu or
Michele Newel, 661/654-2720, mnewell1@csub.edu

This morning, California State University, Bakersfield's campus police, the Bakersfield Police Department, and Kern High School District police officers conducted a safety and response drill on the CSUB campus, simulating their response and course of action if a shooter-on-campus incident was to occur.

"Campus safety is something we take very seriously," said CSUB President Horace Mitchell. "We conduct periodic drills, such as the one today, in order to refine our response to a variety of different emergencies, including both natural and man-made disasters. These are emergencies that we hope to never deal with but, if they do occur, we want to be ready with a swift, effective response."

Today's drill provided university police and university employees a chance to simulate both an "active shooter" scenario and a "shelter in place" exercise.

"While we did notify the campus community in advance of the drill, our officers were not aware of the exact active shooter scenario until it was under way," said CSUB Police Chief Claudia Neal. "They were reacting to the situation as it was unfolding for them. The training was invaluable and I am very proud of the way our officers responded. I also want to express my gratitude and appreciation to our allied law enforcement agencies for their collaboration and participation in this exercise."

The active shooter drill is one of many that will be occurring on all of the 23 CSU campuses at the request of the system's chancellor, Charles B. Reed.

Simultaneous to the police exercise, campus "building marshals" were activated. Clearly identified by a bright orange vest and helmet, marshals are located in each building and are in contact with campus authorities by radio. Today the marshalls had university employees, students and campus visitors remain inside buildings and they rehearsed communication procedures.

"Our emergency preparedness is ongoing," Mitchell emphasized. "A notification system will be in place this summer making it possible for us to quickly contact students, staff and faculty in the event of an emergency. We'll be able to simultaneously call home, work and cell phones, while also sending e-mail and text messages."

The CSUB Police Department is a full service law enforcement agency that provides service 24 hours a day, seven days a week. The department's 11 sworn police officers regularly train and coordinate resources with community law enforcement agencies. On campus, the officers work closely with university administration and the Behavioral Assessment and Response Team to actively promote prevention programs that raise the level of safety awareness.