By: Luke Byerly ~Managing Editor~
“It sounded like a textbook operation to me,” Joseph Milek, Chief of Police at Xavier, said in reference to the attack at Ohio State University Monday.
Milek praised Ohio State University’s response to the attack at Watts Hall on Monday, stating that Xavier employs similar tactics to train responses to an active shooter.
Milek does active shooter training at Xavier upon request.
The training is tailored to individual buildings in order to create a specific plan for an active shooter emergency, including how many exits there are, where people should head first and what to do if they can’t escape the building.
The training is open to faculty, staff and students and is designed to give the trainees all the information to feel comfortable.
Milek explained that the stress of an active shooter situation often leads people to act differently than they would have thought.
“Participants ask a lot of questions and are usually surprised by the simplicity of the training,” Milek said.
Preparing for an active shooter situation is important to Milek even if it’s just basic training. Open discussion and practice are keys to preparation, according to Milek.
“Talk about it on the first day of class. I do that for every class I teach,” Milek said. “When you do that, students are more confident, teachers are more confident and it’s something you can check off after the first day.”
“Practice is important, people forget in stressful situations,” Milek emphasized. “It’s like a basketball player practicing free throws and developing muscle memory. You’ve got to be able to improvise and adapt, but you have to give it thought first.”
Xavier’s safety website also has information on the proper response to an active shooter.
The page describes the run, hide and fight technique along with an advice pocket card, pamphlet and videos that Milek uses in his training.
“I’m more than happy to provide training upon request, but the resources are at their fingertips,” Milek said.
Milek also uses Ohio State’s own active shooter training video in his training because of its quality and simplicity.
When asked about Ohio State’s response to the violent incident, Milek called it “a textbook operation.”
Ohio State’s Chief of Police Craig Stone and Milek actually attended the same police institute.
“I called him afterward and mentioned how proud we were at how well they handled it and offered my support,”
Milek said. Milek also said that he would most likely meet with Stone in a few months to go over the details of what went right and what went wrong in the incident.
“There’s always something to improve. Always some detail that can be changed.”
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