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ASU police hold active-shooter drill

From left, Capt. Samuel Hill, Maj. Cordedria Hill, Chief John Fields, Capt. Constance Johnson and Lt. Roychard Hill of the Albany State University Police Department participate in a successful active-shooter drill on campus Tuesday.

From left, Capt. Samuel Hill, Maj. Cordedria Hill, Chief John Fields, Capt. Constance Johnson and Lt. Roychard Hill of the Albany State University Police Department participate in a successful active-shooter drill on campus Tuesday.

ALBANY -- The call on the police scanner said one of the "bad guys" was shot dead. It was a drill.

The Albany State University Police Department went through a drill at about 3 p.m. Tuesday to see how fast it could lock down the school, stop campus traffic and deal with a possible shooter at the school.

"I'd say, once the drill started, it took us less than 10 minutes to shut the school down," said ASU Police Chief John Fields. "We are obligated to do these drills twice a year."

The third drill was requested by Everette Freeman, the university's president, Fields said. It combined the lockdown with an active-shooter-on-campus drill.

There is no telling where a possible shooter would come from or his motives, Fields said, adding such a person could be a disgruntled employee, a student or just someone off the street.

"We have to react fast, and we can't wait for SWAT or other agencies to arrive," Fields said. "We have to test our response time to the situation."

This doesn't mean that the campus police acted alone in the drill, Fields was quick to add. The drill required the cooperation of many law enforcement agencies including the Albany Police Department, the Dougherty County Sheriff's Office and the Dougherty County School System Police Department for a successful completion.

"In the drill and in a real situation, we depend on each other," Fields said. "I want to emphasize that."