ASU emergency drill: gunman on campus

The ASU police officers practice entering a room with a gunman inside. / Romney Smith

Albany State University Police held a drill Tuesday afternoon to check their ability to handle an on-campus shooter.

The police had help from the Dougherty County Sheriff's Office, Dougherty County School System Police, and the Albany Police Department.

First a loud speaker announced the following on the campus outside alert system. "Suspect alert, this is the Albany State University Police Department. There is an unknown intruder on campus. Please go to the nearest building as quickly as possible. On campus buildings are going into lockdown immediately."

ASU Police Chief John Fields says it's important to run drills. "It's not a matter of 'if', it's a matter of when it's going to happen and we have to be prepared to deal with it when it happens. Whether it's a student, faculty, staff, or someone unrelated to the campus â" we have to be able to handle an active on campus gunman" says Fields.

During the drill officers surrounded the building where the mock shooter was located, climbed three flights of stairs, cautiously approached while clearing rooms. When they located the shooter officers quickly subdued the person, cuffed them, and the drill was over.

Chief Fields said the group did a great job and that hands on experience and drills is far better than learning in a classroom. ASU police will be running similar drills in the future to keep their skills sharp.