YORK – Security officers from HACC, Central Pennsylvania’s Community College, and members of the York City Police Department joined forces Friday, May 17, 2013, for an active shooter exercise at the George M. Leader Building at HACC’s York Campus.
The exercise, coordinated and led by York Police Capt. Ron Camacho, brought together more than 30 officers from the two departments. Camacho also is the commander of York County Quick Response Team and a senior police training associate for International Police Training and Consulting Services, based in Tempe, Ariz.
“We are partners in ensuring the safety of the campus,” said Edwin Dominguez, HACC’s interim security director. “In the event of a crisis, the York City Police Department has jurisdiction. Establishing guidelines for protocol during emergency situations allows the two teams to work together as a seamless operation.”
“It is the goal of the York City Police Department and the York County Quick Response Team to share our training and expertise concerning active shooters with the schools, hospitals and businesses in the area,” said Camacho, who has conducted multiple presentations and training on active shooter mitigation, in both the private and public sector, throughout Pennsylvania and internationally.
“This sharing of information and training will lessen the friction that will arise during a real life incident,” Camacho said. “The more confusion we can avoid the quicker the response will be to neutralize the shooter. The quicker the shooter is neutralized is directly proportional to the lives we can save. Saving lives is our ultimate goal.”
The training, which was conducted from 10 a.m.-6 p.m., included opening remarks by York City Police Chief Wes Kahley, classroom instruction and the active shooter exercise.
“I would like to thank HACC for taking a lead in preparing to serve the students and staff they are entrusted to protect, and support this ongoing cooperative relationship,” Kahley said. “Cooperation between public and private law enforcement is imperative in this day and age if we are going to properly serve our communities.”
“Taking the steps to work together before a major incident occurs ensures that the stage is set for success,” Kahley said.
The College is closed on Fridays during the summer, making this a good opportunity to the two departments to collaborate on the exercise.
“Safety precautions were implemented into these exercises to ensure the safety of those who participate,” Dominguez said. “At no time were firearms used in the exercise.”
“Although officers from each department have crisis training, this is the first time College security and the responding law enforcement agency that covers one of our campuses trained together,” Dominguez added. “Not only is it an important step in providing solid guidelines for protocol during a crisis, it is promoting good will and cooperation between HACC security officers and local police.”
Dominguez said similar exercises will be held with other local police departments. For more information about HACC's emergency procedures, please visit http://www.hacc.edu/AboutUs/Security/Emergency-Procedures.cfm ).