The Monmouth County Prosecutor’s Office, Monmouth County Sheriff’s Office and Monmouth County Chiefs of Police Association announced the joint drills Friday. Law enforcement officers, medics, firefighters and other emergency workers will take part in the drills April 20 at St. Denis School in Manasquan, which closed in 2015.
You can watch video from a similar drill at Central Regional High School in Berkeley at the top of this article.
According to a joint statement from the prosecutor, sheriff and chiefs, the participants will run through exercises intended to mimic a gunman attack and test responses by emergency agencies from a dozen towns in southern Monmouth County. They advised local residents that there will be traffic and road closures around the school beginning around 6 a.m. the day of the drills, and residents in the immediate area will have limited access.
“Recent events have only served to highlight the need for preparedness,” Monmouth County Prosecutor Christopher Gramiccioni said in a prepared statement. “We started down this road nearly 15 months ago with an eye towards readiness and we will continue to prepare for providing the safety our citizens need and deserve. We must recognize the realities of evil people focused on perpetrating evil acts.”
Manasquan Police Chief Michael Bauer said the “realism” of the drills could alarm anyone not aware of it.
“Rest assured we are doing everything we can to keep our citizens informed and involved. The visuals of wounded people are simply a part of the realism and aids in making decisions about medical care and responses should we ever be faced with these realities,” Bauer said.
There will be blank gunshots at the outset of the drill, but only one or two, according to the prosecutor’s office.
“This drill will be as real-life as possible without the reality of death and destruction that comes with these active shooter situations,” Gramiccioni said. “We have seen the carnage that can be inflicted on our citizens. The drill will have the the looks and feel of a real-life active shooter situation, including the inconveniences that accompany such events.”
Critical Response Group of Ewing will coordinate the exercises, according to the announcement.
“We cannot ignore the realities of our present-day situation,” Monmouth County Sheriff Shaun Golden said in a prepared statement. “There are people focused on doing harm to us – in our schools, in our workplaces, in our recreational spaces and where we will gather. We can prepare for the worst hoping our preparedness makes us the best.”
Brielle Police Chief Michael Palmer, the chiefs’ association’s training officer, said in a prepared statement that “We conduct our active shooter training to keep the children and staff safe in the quickest and most efficient manner possible to prevent any and all injuries to the best of our ability.”
- Union Avenue between Curtis and Marcellus avenues, diverted towards South Street;
- Virginia Avenue between South Street and Mount Lane; and
- Mount Lane between Curtis and Marcellus avenues
- Southern Monmouth County Active Shooter Partnership
- Manasquan Police Department
- Monmouth County Fire Marshal
- Monmouth Police Chiefs Association
- Monmouth County Prosecutor’s Office
- Monmouth County Sheriff’s Office
- Monmouth County Emergency Response Team (MOCERT)
And first responders from:
- Asbury Park
- Bradley Beach
- Neptune City
- Sea Girt
- Spring Lake
- Spring Lake Heights