EKU to have active shooter exercise July 25

EKU new logo
EKU new logo

RICHMOND, Ky. (WTVQ) – With most students away for the summer, Eastern Kentucky University Public Safety is planning a full-scale exercise involving an active shooter scenario.

The active shooter exercise will take place on Tuesday, July 25, from 9 a.m. to 1 p.m. in Coates and Jones buildings and adjacent Jones parking lot.

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Emergency responders from several partnering law enforcement agencies from surrounding communities will be involved “in as real-world an environment as we can create, while having safeguards and checkpoints in place,” said Gary Folckemer, director of emergency management and security for EKU. “It’s all designed to walk us through our response protocol, to push ourselves to see if we can break our plan.

The exercise area will also include the Crabbe Street lot, the Ravine and the following campus buildings: Foster, Campbell, Burrier, Roark, Memorial Science, Moore, Cammack and the Alumni Center at Blanton House. Those within the area can expect to hear simulated gunfire and other loud noises, and witness simulated injuries and considerable activity among law enforcement officers.

A “soft outer perimeter,” encompassing the area bounded by Crabbe Street, University Drive and Lancaster Avenue will be marked by caution tape and “Police Training in Progress” signs, and a “harder inner perimeter” corresponding to the training area around the Coates and Jones buildings and Jones lot will be marked by police line tape and additional signage. Only Crabbe Street will be closed to traffic during the exercise.

“We are as prepared as possible should we have a targeted violence attack,” Folckemer said, “but you never know for sure how everything will pan out unless you exercise your plan vigorously and see if there are opportunities for improvement.”

Noting that the EKU Police has been accredited three times by the Kentucky Association of Chiefs of Police, Folckemer added, “We have excellent officers who are well-trained, but we are always looking to enhance that training.”

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Tom Kenny joined ABC 36 News in June of 2001 as a General Assignment Reporter. A native of Peoria, Illinois, he graduated cum laude with a Bachelor of Arts in Mass Communications from Western Illinois University. He currently anchors ABC 36 News at 5pm, 6pm and 11pm. Tom has more than three decades of experience in broadcast journalism. He is the only broadcast journalist in Lexington television history to be honored with a national Edward R. Murrow Award. Tom was recognized for reporting on a story that gave a rare glimpse inside the secretive world of the Federal Witness Protection Program. He has won an Emmy Award for anchoring and another for investigative reporting, exposing the deceit and potential danger of online diploma mills. Tom has ten other Emmy nominations to his credit for investigative and feature reporting. He has won Associated Press Awards for reporting and anchoring. He has won two Addy Awards for excellence in promotional writing. Tom was the first broadcast journalist in Lexington TV history to be awarded the Silver Circle Award by the National Academy of Television Arts and Sciences. It is one of the highest honors given by NATAS. It recognizes television professionals who have performed distinguished service within the television industry for 25-years or more. Tom was honored for more than his longevity, he was recognized for making an enduring contribution to the vitality of the television industry and for setting high standards of achievement. He was also recognized for giving back to the community as a mentor, educator and volunteer. Tom also has network broadcast experience in radio and television having worked as a sports reporter for ESPN, Sportschannel, NBC Sports and the Breeders’ Cup. He was also the studio host and halftime producer for CBS Radio Sports’ College Football Game of the Week and covered the NFL for One-On-One Radio Sports. Prior to joining WTVQ-TV, Tom was Vice-President of the Houston Astros Minor League baseball team in Lexington. He was part of the original management team that brought professional baseball back to the Bluegrass after a nearly 50-year absence. Tom has lived in Lexington since 1984. In that time, he has been heavily involved with dozens of charity and civic groups, with a special emphasis on helping Veterans. He can be reached at tkenny@wtvq.com. You can also follow Tom on Facebook www.facebook.com/TomKennyABC and Twitter @TomKennyNews. Just click on the links at the top of the page.