The Department of Communications Media, in conjunction with IUP Campus Police, recently held an exercise to create a real-life scenario involving a shooter and bomb threat on campus. The exercise took place Saturday, July 14, 2012, at the R&P Building.
Sam Clutter, director of Public Safety, Lieutenant Mel Cornell, Patrol Division, and Sergeant Doug Campbell, Criminal Investigations, organized the event with several officers from the IUP Campus Police, State Police, Sheriff's Office, and K-9 Unit. IUP Campus Police created a storyline and brought it to the Communications Media Department for production of a video.
Production was coordinated by Mark Piwinsky (department chair), Jay Start, Lacey Fulton, and Brittany Pavolik. The team organized a camera crew of 10 to catch all of the action. Brian Jones, chair of the Theater Department, and six theater students portrayed the main characters, including the “shooter” and the “injured student.” An additional group of 12 IUP students and alumni volunteered to be a part of the video, as well. Adding to the real-life feel of the event was the appearance of local EMTs.
Weeks of planning and preparation resulted in an event that was a huge success. Running through the exercise two times allowed two different groups of officers a chance to test their abilities in handling a situation like this, should it occur on campus. After the “shooter” was contained and claimed to have planted a bomb in the building, the K-9 unit went into action and discovered an object covered in accelerant.
By taking the exercise very seriously, each officer demonstrated their dedication and loyalty to the safety of our campus, the students, and the Indiana community as a whole. A crowd of spectators gathered, including IUP President Mike Discoll, who supported the department by wearing a sapphire-blue Communications Media “Production Crew” shirt.
The Communications Media Department is glad to have had the opportunity to work with these different groups, and hopes to partner with other groups in the future.