By Dakota Cantwell
“I think it went good,” Heath Morgan, Dean of Students said. “I mean, anytime you do a drill there’s always the good part and then there’s always things that you can continue to work on.”
The drill took place on campus at the Morrison Fine Arts Building and approximately 20 students actively participated as potential injuries on site for the emergency services to work with.
While the drill was run with little issue, a student caught in the Morrison Fine Arts Building who was not actively participating in the drill caused some unforeseen action in the drill.
“They came and knocked on the door and just, like, tried to get in and no one could get in,” Kasey Milton, the student accidentally caught in the middle of the drill, said. “So I was like ‘okay,’ they checked and I’m doing what I’m supposed to be doing and they left.”
Milton had arrived at her classroom early and when the drill commenced, she closed and locked the doors and barricaded them with chairs as she had been instructed to do by her professor.
“About ten minutes later they came back and I was like, ‘oh no’,” Milton said.
Milton was unsure of what was happening and the officers on scene were not sure if she was a participating student or not.
“They had no clue if she was part of it or not,” Morgan said. “They just knew that she was a potential perpetrator, so they treated her like one. I mean they weren’t mean or rough with her.”
The officers had to go and retrieve Morgan to get the code for the door that Milton had locked.
“They finally got it and they come in with flashlights and they’re like, ‘put your hands up where we can see them’. And I’m like, ‘what is going on?’”
Once inside, the officers continued the drill as standard procedure dictated.
“So I get out and two of the cops went to the back of the studio.”
The officers were searching for the ‘active shooter’ on scene. There was a door at the back of the studio that led to the storage room.
“He was actually in the room with her,” Morgan said.
The officer that was playing the role of active shooter for the drill was found in the storage room in back of the studio.
“In a real situation that would have been really dangerous because the back door to the studio actually doesn’t lock from that way. It’s supposed to, but it doesn’t actually latch.”
Milton was handcuffed during the drill by the officers who were participating.
“He was like, do you have anything on you? And I was like ‘what, I don’t know what I would have on me’.” He was referring to weapons of any kind as a standard procedure for police in this position. Milton said, “and so he starts digging through my pockets and I was like, ‘I do have suckers in this pocket’.”
Morgan checked to ensure that Milton was okay, as did many of the officers participating in the drill.
“They were really calm about it. They were like, ‘it’s just a drill, it’s fine’.”
Morgan said that he feels that the situation with Milton added to the experience for the drill.
“From a training aspect, with the police and fire and stuff, that’s exactly what they’d do.”
The drill concluded shortly after with no issues. Milton said that having been directly involved with it helped her to feel safe because she knows what is involved with it. She had some feedback for the next time the school runs a drill.
“On the little feedback, I said I really wish that they had the codes to get into those rooms,” Milton said. “They had to go ask someone, which delayed them even more.”
Once the drill concluded, classes resumed on campus and students and faculty continued with their day.