Police to conduct active shooter training exercise on Monroe Park Campus

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The Virginia Commonwealth University and City of Richmond police departments will conduct an active shooter training exercise Wednesday, Aug. 3, on the Monroe Park Campus.

VCU Police Chief John Venuti emphasized the need for training on campus given that active shooter incidents continue to be a threat to communities nationwide.

“Active shooter incidents are a threat that is not going away and campus law enforcement agencies need to prepare for them,” said Venuti. “By training with Richmond Police on a VCU campus we’re working on critical interoperability needs that arise in these crisis situations.”

The daylong exercise consists of a simulated emergency in which a single shooter is inside the Shafer Street Playhouse. The exercise will be realistic, with simulated sounds inside the building, including gunfire and crowd panic.

This training gives police the opportunity to practice a coordinated response to a VCU building, which is critical in an active shooter incident.

Multiple communications, including a mass mail to the VCU community and social media posts, are being issued in advance of the exercise to increase awareness. There will be two road closures and limited pedestrian traffic in and around the playhouse between 8:30 a.m. and 6 p.m.

  • Franklin Street will be closed between Harrison and Laurel streets from 8:30 a.m. to 6 p.m. Vehicle access will be closed to Shafer Street between Franklin and Grace streets during the same time.
  • The area around the Shafer Street Playhouse will be clearly marked with signs and security officers will be on-site to answer questions and direct pedestrian traffic.
  • Pedestrian traffic between Franklin Street and the Shafer Street Playhouse will be closed intermittently while the exercise is in session.
The Shafer Street Playhouse.
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