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 [email protected]


  • Convergint Gives Back Globally, Celebrates 23rd Annual Social Responsibility Day

    Today, Convergint celebrates its 23rd Annual Convergint Social Responsibility Day, as nearly 10,000 colleagues across 220 global locations have the opportunity to spend the workday giving back to their local communities. This year’s efforts have resulted in a total payroll donation of more than $3 million and more than $500,000 in labor and equipment donations from Convergint colleagues, partners, and families. Additionally, 400 colleagues and partners will help complete the company’s largest STEP Up project to-date for the Douglas County School District in Castle Rock, Colorado. Read Now

  • 2024 Secure Campus Award Winners Announced

    Campus Security Today is pleased to announce the 2024 Secure Campus Award winners. Twenty-six companies are being recognized this year for products that help keep education and business campuses safe. Read Now

  • Making Safety and Security Intrinsic to School Design

    Public anxieties about school safety are escalating across the country. According to a 2023 Gallup report, 44% of parents fear for their child’s physical safety at school, a 10 percentage-point increase since 2019. Unfortunately, these fears are likely to increase if the incidence of school tragedies continues to mount. As a result, school leaders are now charged with two non-negotiable responsibilities. The first, as always, is to ensure kids have what they need to learn, grow, and thrive. Sadly, their second responsibility is to keep the children in their care safe from threats and physical danger. Read Now

  • Unlocking Peace of Mind

    In a perfect world, every school would have an unlimited budget to help secure their schools. In reality, schools must prioritize what budget they have while navigating the complexities surrounding school security and lockdown Read Now