UMD Police Chief Huls On Safety at the School

Duuth, Minn. — The scene on the campus of Michigan State University, with hundreds of flashing lights, officers in SWAT gear running around, and an active shooter on the loose had UMD’s Police Chief wondering about all the “what ifs?”

“The first thing I thought – three questions popped into my head – what if this were us, are we prepared and are we doing everything we can to prevent s tragedy like this in our community here at UMD,” were he Police Chief’s first thoughts.

Huls said he was able to answer those three questions with positive responses.  He says his department has positioned itself to deal with a potential active threat. Chief Huls says the department has done that through training and preparedness, developing partnerships with others, and education. And that educating goes far beyond his officers, but for everyone.

“The part that we really are trying to improve, and been doing that for a while a big piece is preparing our community, students, faculty, staff and visitors. Educating them what would they do? We want to make sure they’re prepared”

Some of the students we talked with brought up the training they had received in high school .Ben Black a student at UMD said, “I guess we were taught in High School, hide under a desk, lock all the doors and just do what you were trained in high school.”

A second student, Daniel Brummond told us he wasn’t quite sure what to do. “To be honest, I don’t know, you don’t know what to do until you are faced with one of these situation. Probably like everyone else run or try to hold the door shut.”

The police department is working on getting a grant for an active shooter drill planned for next year. It would involve local, state, and federal law enforcement agencies. They would all be part of the response if an active shooter situation should ever happen on campus.

Chief Huls says the goal is to have everyone prepared, and have a healthy awareness if anything should ever happen. He summed up his thoughts. “We want them to know that we are well prepared, we are well equipped to handle a situation like this and we want them to not live in fear.”

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