Evesham Police Department puts officers to the test with active shooter drill
A police department in Burlington County put its officers to the test Tuesday to see how well they would respond to an active shooter situation.
Evesham police officers took part in a practice active shooter drill that involved a place of worship.
“They’ll get a scenario dispatch to them through the radio simulating a real-world dispatch call and then they will come in here not knowing what to expect, and they’ll have to react to the scenario that is staged for them. It could be to take the shooter into custody and illuminate the threat of the shooter and then to attend to the injured and get them to proper medical care,” says Evesham Police Department Chief Walt Miller.
The drill was held at Sovereign Grace Church in Marlton. Miller says the drill was planned for months and was not in response to recent shootings in Buffalo and Texas. He says the drill was made to be as realistic as possible.
“Sitting in a classroom you retain a portion of the information, actually getting out and doing it, you’re teaching your body and your mind to respond to stimulus and also it allows them to process the stress of the situation in a controlled setting that if they’re in a real life setting it’ll be less stressful,” says Miller.
Religious leaders from congregations throughout the township were invited to watch the drill.
“To actually be invited to come and learn it, I think it puts our heart at ease for that. But it’s also the transparency of our township to say, ‘Hey come and watch, come ask questions, come understand,’ and then we’ve already said, ‘Hey can you come look at our church, can you come look at our school and go through it and help us prepare better for any scenario that we may face,'” says Christian Bowers, pastor at Marlton Assembly of God.
Bowers says he is thankful for the opportunity and to know that the police have a plan in place.