About 60 people gathered for a prayer vigil in front of Academic Hall at Southeast Missouri State University in April 2007 in memory of the slain students at Virginia Tech.
Scheduled from 8 a.m. to noon, the drill will result in the lock down of Carnahan Hall, Crisp Hall of Nursing, the pedestrian area on the east side of Academic Hall and the south side of Brandt Hall of Music while university staff members work through the drill. Cheney Drive, the parking lot north of Crisp Hall and parking lot east of Brandt Hall will also be inaccessible. Faculty and staff members will not be allowed in the area during this time.
"We've had drills for emergencies such as tornadoes and earthquake for years, but this is the first time we've had one for a violent situation," said Southeast director of public safety Doug Richards. "Any type of violent behavior causes risk to the campus and that is a reason why we feel the need to simulate this drill."
Richards expects the drill to take 56 minutes. The first course of action of the simulation will be an initial telephone call to the campus' police dispatch unit between 8 and 9 a.m. of reported shots fired in Crisp Hall.
Once the call is received by a dispatcher, a team of 45 to 60 members of the campus emergency team will then meet to decide a course of action and law enforcement will be notified. Richards said campus police will play the roles of those agencies during the drill, who will barricade certain buildings and search the area for the shooter.
Richards said recent high-profile events such as the deadly shootings at Virginia Tech University and Columbine High School are reasons to have such a drill.
"We chose this event because of the changing times we live in," Richards said. "Unfortunately the reality is situations like those at the two schools have become more common in today's society."
Look for more on this story later in the day at semissourian.com and in Wednesday's Southeast Missourian.