Mass Shootings Cause Columbus Police To Re-Think Their Plan


UPDATED: Thursday February 14, 2013 12:29 PM

Columbus police are called into action during a drill that simulates a shooter inside the Newport Music Hall.

“When you're actually in the physical space, it really makes you better. It makes you think on your feet for when this might actually happen for real,” said Sgt. Patrick Shaffer, Columbus Police Dept.

The training held Wednesday night is not like anything Columbus Police have done before.

“This building was built in the 20's. It's just hallways and back stairwells, so it's a real life, real world situation,” added Shaffer.

Police began the learning process by closely examining the past, which included looking at the 2004 deadly shooting at Alrosa Villa.

“And you'll see the confusion too. That's one of the things that stood out to me, the crowd, and the band and the stage hands trying to figure out. Is this part of the show or have things gone wrong?” said officer Tim Halbakken.

Police recognize that the crowd can go from calm to chaos in a matter of minutes.

Jessica Redd was one of many staged concert goers, who hit the ground when the shooter ran wild in the drill Wednesday. She was there when officers ran in.

“I'm glad they're doing things like this. I go to concerts all the time,” said Redd.

For those who run the venue, they're working side-by-side with police and said their priority is getting everyone out of the building safely.

“It's better to know everything that could happen in all situations. Obviously, you can’t really put it into effect until it happens. We're hoping that never does happen, but it's always better to have a Plan A and a Plan B,” said Adam Vanchoff, General Manager, Newport Music Hall.

And it's recent mass shootings, from Colorado to Connecticut, that have caused many law enforcement agencies to re-think their plan of action.

Columbus Police believe that drills at venues like the Newport make them better prepared.

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