An active shooter disaster preparedness exercise is slated for March as part of the University of Central Arkansas’s emergency management planning initiatives. The exercise will be held from 1:30 to 4:30 p.m. March 11 at Minton Hall. 

This exercise will be one of the most comprehensive and involved emergency preparation activities at UCA, according to school police officials. 

Over the last year, the UCA Police Department has provided several classroom training sessions to faculty, staff and students to educate the UCA community on different ways to respond to an active shooter situation and what to expect from the UCA Police Department during the incident. 

"The UCA community is now in a position to utilize some of the classroom training in a more functional hands-on training exercise," Lt. Rhonda Swindle said. 

The exercise will involve several different departments, student organizations and other emergency first responders. Some of the groups who have agreed to participate in the exercise include: President’s Executive Staff, UCA Police Department, Student Services, Student Housing, Student Health, Counseling Services, Journalism Department, Theatre/Drama Department, Nursing Department, Physical Plant, Office of Emergency Management, Conway Police Department, and Conway Fire Department, Arkansas Department of Emergency Management and Metro Emergency Medical Services. 

Representatives from the various agencies, organizations and departments have attended several planning meetings. Officials plan to make the exercise as realistic as possible. 

"The UCA Active Shooter Disaster Preparedness Exercise will be well planned and organized," Swindle said. 

Goals of the exercise include coordinating responses between UCA Police Department and local emergency first responders, enhancing the university’s response capabilities, understanding and utilizing available resources on campus, evaluating and improving use of the National Incident Command System, testing the Safe@UCA notification system, and further developing trust and partnerships within the UCA Community, Swindle said.