With Isla Vista still reeling from a mass shooting and stabbing rampage that left seven people dead earlier this year, UC Santa Barbara’s Police Department participated in drills this week that they hope will keep the campus community safer from gun violence.
The campus police department, along with officers from CSU Northridge and the California Highway Patrol, spent Tuesday and Wednesday afternoon conducting active shooter drills in UCSB’s Anacapa Residence Hall.
The drills, in which officers train to stop a person armed with a gun moving through the building, take place every year, but this year was especially significant because of the tragic events that occurred in May, according to UCPD Chief Dustin Olson.
Olson said that many of the officers who responded to the killings that night took part of the drill this week.
“They really fell back on that training” when responding that night, Olson said. “That reinforced the necessity for us. We do this for a reason, and everyone took this very seriously.”
Officers use the drill to work on communicating as a team in a crisis situation, Olson added.
During the drills, the officers worked with the department’s community service officers, who are UCSB students and potentially exploring a career in law enforcement.
The CSO officers were able to role-play as wounded victims, and “they get a good sense of what this job’s about,” Olson said. “It’s very real.”
About 20 people took part in the drills this week.
The police department has used other university buildings in the past, such as the UCSB Career and Counseling Center and other residence halls.
The drills also included a tactical medicine component, in which an officer will encounter a secondary problem, such as another wounded officer, while the shooter is still at large.
“It offers realism,” he said. “We’ve had that a couple of years.”