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Fairfax County Runs Shooting Drill At Campus

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The active shooting exercise, about to get underway.
Markette Smith
The active shooting exercise, about to get underway.

First responders in Fairfax County prepared for the worst Wednesday, in a training exercise that simulates a gunman’s rampage on a local college campus.

"The initial call is going to be for a car fire in the parking lot," explains Northern Virginia Community College Police Lieutenant Cheryl Creed. "And then it turns into an officer rescue and then an active shooter event and there will be more than one active shooter."

About 100 first responders from Fairfax County fire and police departments shut down the Community College's Annandale campus to conduct the training exercise. They are not only testing how fast they can respond, but also giving a new high-tech emergency communications program that connects all local agencies a trial run.

"All of our dispatch equipment and communications have just been updated to the 24-7 outfit which we did not have before," says Creed. "And we have inter-operability with Fairfax County Police, Fairfax County Fire, the city of Alexandria – all of the jurisdictions that all of our campuses are located in."

Campus police and local law enforcement agencies plan to conduct these exercises every six months in order the prepare for the worst, as they hope for the best.

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