WEST ORANGE, NJ - A Mock Shooter Drill is planned at Liberty Middle School in West Orange on Tuesday, August 20, from 8 a.m. to 2 p.m. This event, funded with grant monies obtained by West Orange Police Sergeant John Morella, will be the largest mock drill of its kind to date in the state of New Jersey.
In light of the tragic events in Newtown in December of 2012 and at the Boston Marathon in April, this event will assist police, fire, EMT, Emergency Management, first responders, parents, students, teachers and administration in learning how to deal with a terrorist event in a school situation.
Parents, high school and middle school students are being sought to participate in this important training event.
"A Mock Active Shooter Drill enables first responders from many surrounding agencies, from a local to federal level, to respond to a school shooting in a chaotic, yet controlled atmosphere to make them aware of their strong points along with their deficiencies in responding to an event such as this," said Sergeant John Morella. "It allows for the responders to learn from their mistakes without the tragic outcomes of the many schools shootings in our nation. Although mock active shooters have been done in the past, we have decided to take it up a notch."
He then went on to say "While enlisting the aid of local, county, state and federal law enforcement agencies, along with Parent, Students, School Employees, Fire, EMS, OEM, Local Universities, local Medical Centers and a plethora of other agencies that would be involved in a response such as this, we also enlisted the aid of the Picatinny Arsenal. Picatinny Arsenal is an American military research and manufacturing facility located on a 6,400-acre lot in New Jersey where the United States Department of Defense conducts research. I inquired as to what type of assistance they would be able to provide to us in reference to active shooter situations. Not only are they taking part in the event but through The Department of Homeland Security (DHS) they are going to financially back it. This is all in conjunction with the Department of Defense and the North East Counter Terrorism Technology Evaluation Center (CTTEC) who will have the entire event overseen by their behavioral science department to see how and why officers react the way they do in situations such as active shooters."
"This could help responding officers understand the correlation of efficiency and high pressure that they need to operate under in an event such as this and how to improve themselves in the way they approach these types of incidents in a controlled life like environment."