MU Hospital and Police Learn from Intruder Drill

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COLUMBIA - MU Police Department and Health Care spoke out Tuesday about their findings from Monday's emergency drill involving a scenario of an armed intruder.

"It gives us an opportunity to test communication in various ways. Between field command post and the actual post here at the police department," said MUPD Captain Brian Weimer.

The drill took place in University Hospitals New Patient Care tower. It started with a briefing of the hospital staff on procedures and roles in an emergency event.

"It gives us a great opportunity to educate our staff and to talk about what to expect and how to react", said Randy Boehm, Security Manager at MU Health Care.

Later, police had an officer dressed as an armed intruder confront the staff. Then proceeded with a hostage barricade situation on another floor, which gives the MUPD an opportunity to test procedures with the city of Columbia's swat team. Captain Weimer said the drills prepare them for many different types of disaster situations.

Weimer also wanted to stress the importance of telling the public what to do in the event of an armed intruder. "It's important getting the message out to the community that they have to have a plan in place on how to get away from the intruder and how to be safe. And that the public should use the MU alert system to be informed on what's going on when these kind of things happen somewhere", Weimer said.

Both parties were happy with the drills and said they learned which areas to improve on. "I think we can always work on our communication. How do we get the information out to everyone in hospital? How do we do it quickly and accurate ? Although that went well we certainly saw areas that we can do better and enhance, " said Randy Boehm of MU Health Care.

Officials said drills like these are done on an annual basis at the hospital.  And this drill was not in response to a recent murder at neighboring Truman Memorial Veterans Hospital.