On Monday, Kentucky Wesleyan College and the Daviess County Sheriff's Department held an active shooter training for the college's faculty and staff for the purpose of educating campus leaders in the facts and myths of mass shootings and the steps for survival if one were ever to occur on campus.
Aside from a presentation given by Special Deputy Allen Youngman, a firearms instructor and liaison to area schools for emergency preparedness, the training also involved a simulated active shooter scenario. The active-shooter simulation is a vital aspect of the college's annual training, Rebecca McQueen-Ruark, vice president of student affairs, said.
"The sheriff's office has people that will be doing a lecture in terms of what to do in the event of an active shooter -- run, fight, hide -- those kind of things, and then we will move into the administration building to do a live exercise. We want people to know what a gunshot sounds like. We want them to be able to determine what that is and how to properly react in the event that we have an active shooter.
"We try to do this training at least annually. Once a semester we test our emergency notification system and have a lockdown where our students practice what to do in the event of an emergency."
Youngman's son, DCSD Det. Brad Youngman, also took part in Monday's training. These programs are extremely important, especially for colleges, Brad Youngman said.
"There have been some high profile shootings on college campuses in the past, If a college isn't prepared for something like that, then it can be pretty bad. One of the things that we will address in this training is the openness of college campuses versus a K-12 school. In a K-12 school here in Kentucky, access is limited, but a college campus, anybody can walk through."
The training has been in the works for the past few weeks, said Eddie Kenny, vice president of advancement, and is a part of the college's desire to be prepared for any possible emergency.
"Kentucky Wesleyan is being proactive in taking steps to ensure the safety of our students and campus community," said Kenny. "We are appreciative of the support of local law enforcement and its willingness to train our faculty and staff to establish best courses of response and action to protect students and visitors in the event of an active shooter emergency."
While trainings and a proactive approach are vital in preparedness, one of the most important practices, especially in a college setting, is awareness and communication, Brad Youngman said.
"The main thing is if something doesn't seem right, or you have a concern about an individual, you need to tell somebody so they can look into that," he said. "Situational awareness is key."
Jacob Mulliken, 270-228-2837, email@example.com.