RICHMOND, Va. (WRIC) – Officials held an active shooter training exercise Thursday at Virginia Commonwealth University.
VCU police worked alongside state and federal agencies, including Virginia State Police and the FBI.
The simulated emergency inside the University Student Commons included sounds that simulate gunfire and crowd panic.
“Priority is first to initially stop what aggression is taking place and second is the life-saving steps and measures we can take and we’re fortunate to have very good equipment,” VCU police Chief John Venuti said.
Chief Venuti stressed the importance of making the exercise as realistic as possible.
“We know that any type of large scale incident that would take place at VCU would bring a flood of external resources,” Venuti said.
Students and staff are taught the ‘run, hide, fight’ technique in the event of an active shooter situation.
VCU Junior Adel Mallik credits police for participating in the training exercise.
“Let’s say something wrong is going on and police have to get out and do their job, they’re supposed to be prepared for it,” Mallik said.
Officials held three sessions on Thursday.
Chief Venuti said his unit aims to hold a full-scale training session at least once a year.