Matt Smothers

Staff Writer

The UCA Police Department conducted annual training exercises in and around the area of State Hall June 25 and June 27.

The UCA Police Department fired blanks between 3 p.m. and 9 p.m. during the training and signs were posted around the exercise areas to inform the community of the reason for the noise. They also sent reminders via email to students and posted on their Twitter account to tell students not to be alarmed because of the increased police presence and activity taking place on campus.

“This is annual departmental training involving building search and active shooter response,” UCA Police Cpl. Michael Hopper said. “This is not an exercise that involved students, faculty or staff.” 

The details of the UCAPD training were not available for security reasons.

“These types of training exercises are very important for both our officers and our communication personnel,” said Hopper. “Not only do they help build teamwork, but they also hone our response to a possible threat to our community.”

According to the National Center on Safe Supportive Learning Environments, there were over 400 gunshot victims at 190 college campuses between 2001 and 2016.

The UCA Police Department began these annual exercises over ten years ago to increase the campus’s emergency preparedness. The police department’s website states: “We are committed to maintaining a safe and secure campus environment that is conductive to learning. We believe a well-informed community is essential to achieving our goals. To that end, we have implements numerous measures to ensure the safety of the UCA community and to provide timely warnings in case of an emergency.” The website also states that their mission is, “to provide proactive policing, community outreach, and promote positive relationships while maintaining a high level of professionalism, courtesy, and service.”

The UCA Police Department also states on their website that they embrace the values of the acronym, PAID, which stands for professionalism, accountability, integrity and dedication.

For more information about the training exercises or future training exercises, contact Michael Hopper at mhopper@uca.edu or the UCA Police Department at 501-450-3111. More campus security information can be found https://uca.edu/police/ and includes a link to download UCA’s safety mobile app, Safe@UCA, which is free to students, parents and employees at UCA. The app allows the user to report a crime tip, call the Bear Patrol Safety Escort, and chat in real-time with the UCA Police Department.

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