SMU, Local Police Partner for Active Threat Training

Local news reports that Southern Methodist University in Dallas, Texas, recently partnered with multiple local police departments for active threat situation training. The university worked with Highland Park, University Park and Dallas police to run simulations on campus. SMU has pre-existing strategic partnerships with all three agencies to provide nearby assistance as necessary.

"Training is about repetition, but it's also about trying to create these environments that are as realistic as possible," said Sgt. Jesse Carr, director of community engagement and communications with the SMU police.

The departments ran a training session in a campus building that is currently under renovation. Training was scheduled for summer to minimize disruption to staff and students on campus. According to local news, training in the facility gives officers the opportunity to practice and execute maneuvers that would otherwise be impossible in an occupied building.

“The top two of those priorities are, how do we stop the killing? And, how can we move on and stop the dying?” said Carr.

These training simulations occur once or twice per year. Carr said that officers use blanks and simulated rounds in each scenario and that each scenario is fluid, requiring the responding officers to adapt and think on their feet—“to teach the officers to think outside the box and be fluid and dynamic in how they’re thinking,” said Carr.

The most recent training simulation was scheduled before the elementary-school shooting in Uvalde that left 19 children and two teachers dead. “For us, it is something that is in the back of our minds all the time,” Carr said.

About the Author

Matt Jones is senior editor of Spaces4Learning and Campus Security and Life Safety. He can be reached at

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