Notice: Police Training on July 19

Centralia College is teaming up with local law enforcement to give Kemp Hall a crash-bang sendoff before it is demolished later this summer.

There will be a series of simulated training drills in Kemp Hall from 9 a.m. to 7 p.m. Thursday, July 19. Centralia College Boulevard will be closed between Rock Street and Washington Avenue during that time. In addition, the sidewalks between the Kemp, Transitional Services, and Walton Science Center buildings and a portion of the grassy center of campus north of the clocktower (Littel Commencement Field) will be closed. These areas will beclearly marked and roped off, and completely inaccessible to students, college staff, and the community.

During the drill, law enforcement officials from the Centralia Police Department and a number of other agencies will be accessing Kemp Hall to simulate an active shooter type of situation. There will be volunteer actors and a number of law enforcement officers and vehicles in the area. In addition, there will be observers stationed on rooftops around campus.

“They warned us it will be loud,” said Casey Rice, director of buildings and grounds for Centralia College. “We expect to hear simulated gunshots and explosions in waves throughout the day. Most will be contained inside Kemp Hall, but it will be heard outside. We want everyone to be aware this is a training exercise and they are in no danger at all.”

For police and the college, having Kemp available for such realistic training is a rare opportunity.

“We do a lot of this kind of training in the schools, but we have to be very careful because the buildings are still in use and set up for classes,” said Adam Haggerty, of the Centralia Police Department. “This is a rare opportunity to simulate actual emergency conditions. This training will make a huge difference for our officers and support staff.”

From the college perspective, offering up the building to police has been a great opportunity for partnership, dialogue, and training for college staff.

“This is one more piece or our effort to keep campus safety up to date,” said Dr. Bob Mohrbacher, Centralia College president. “Whenever we can work with local law enforcement agencies, it helps them to become more familiar with our campus and lets us build our relationship with them.”

For more information on the drill, contact Amanda Haines at 360-623-8428 or amanda.haines@centralia.edu.

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