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Campus police at North Carolina Central University (NCCU) hosted a massive “terrorist training exercise” on Thursday which included simulated explosions, gunfire, and actors playing shooting victims.
More than 200 law enforcement officials reportedly participated in the drill, dubbed by university police as "Operation Eagle Swoop.”
A statement released by the school on Wednesday described the drill as a “full scale terrorist training exercise” which would include “a large volume of emergency vehicles.”
“It will include actors portraying individuals with guns, hostages, and victims,” read the statement.
School spokesman Robert Waters also told Campus Reform in an interview Thursday that administrators had taken extraordinary measures to alert the community prior to the exercise, using email, text messages, and Twitter.
“Our public relations team have made extraordinary efforts to publicize this in advance,” he said.
Waters added the drill was planned months before the massacre at Sandy Hook Elementary School which took the lives of 26 individuals late last year.
Regardless, students turned to the Internet on Thursday to express confusion over events on campus.
“What’s going on at #nccu,” tweeted a user with the Twitter handle @Bourne_sinner. “All these damn swat cars, black SUVs, ambulance, and police cars..shit looks like a crime scene.”
“What’s going up at nccu north Carolina central university all the police and news stations,” asked another user with the Twitter handle @therealbigbuff.
Waters told Campus Reform on Thursday the the exercise was necessary to plan for unforeseen emergency situations.
“The purpose was to test the capabilities and preparedness of our police department and emergency response teams,” said Waters. “It was the biggest drill and most full scale exercise held on a campus in the North Carolina University system.”
Waters, however, said he had no knowledge of any life-threatening incidents ever occurring on campus in the historically black university’s 103 year history.
Follow the author of this article on Twitter: @oliverdarcy
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