Police officers wearing black helmets and armed with long guns hustled Tuesday morning to the exits of a building on the Hamilton College campus, where gunmen held hostages and had opened fire.
But none of the violence inside Kirner-Johnson Hall was real. The drill at the liberal arts college used students and other members of the campus community as actor-hostages, and tested the response skills of several law enforcement agencies.
By conducting the drill Hamilton fulfilled a newly established component of the Clery Act (a 1990 law requiring American colleges to report crime on or near campuses) mandating that colleges test their emergency preparedness annually.
It’s a little odd that Hamilton decided to conduct its security test in July. The effectiveness of this drill seems severely limited since there were only about 450 students on campus at the time to mess up the drill by, you know, getting really anxious at the presence of SWAT teams or otherwise acting contrary to the school’s plan. [Image via]