PVCC Holds Active Shooter Drill

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PVCC held an active shooter drill Tuesday PVCC held an active shooter drill Tuesday
A role playing gunman during PVCC's active shooter drill A role playing gunman during PVCC's active shooter drill
Chief Chris Wyatt with PVCC police Chief Chris Wyatt with PVCC police
Matthew Porter, PVCC student Matthew Porter, PVCC student

Piedmont Virginia Community College is reviewing its response to an active shooter drill that put the Albemarle County campus on lockdown Tuesday morning.

Armed with an air horn, a role playing gunman fires off as he simultaneously storms every building on the college’s campus to find out if students and staff are ready to act in an emergency. Each blast is a shot fired. 

“We want them to react quickly. If they did hear gunfire, we don't want them to be indecisive,” said Chief Chris Wyatt with PVCC police.

Faculty and staff are trained to run, hide, or fight.

“That's what we're doing today - giving everybody an idea, a training of what they're supposed to do and what they can do to help themselves and how we can help them be safe,” said Kim McManus, PVCC vice president of Finance and Administrative Services.

As the campus went into lockdown, security guards outside ordered people away from the buildings.

Inside the simulated shooter checks each office and classroom door to see if he can get in.

“Here was no one to be seen and that's what we want. We want to deny the shooter victims,” said Wyatt.

This drill also tests PVCC’s emergency notification system. It triggers announcements and text alerts until police give the all clear and lead sheltered staff and students to safety.

“We're going to look at what our faculty and staff did, what we did, how we can improve on things, and what do we need to be teaching our faculty and staff to make them safer here,” said Wyatt.

Student Matthew Porter arrived on campus right as the drill began.

“We followed the teachers to a secure location and then we just waited there until the building was clear,” Porter explained.
Porter believes it's better to learn how to react through the calm of a drill than the chaos of a crisis.

“If you’re panicking, you don't make nearly as good decisions on what you should be doing for your safety,” Porter said.

PVCC is working with an emergency management consultant to review its planning for an active shooter and Monday's response.

The campus police chief says everything went smoothly during the drill.