UNIVERSITY PARK, CENTRE COUNTY - If you saw strange police activity near Eisenhower Boulevard and Park Avenue Tuesday, you should not worry. It was for a training exercise not a legitimate emergency.
The Assistant Chief of the Penn State Police Department said Monday, the department needed a training video with Penn State people, places and themes. The campus is deserted this week after most students have left for the summer, so there was not a better time to start rolling.
Last week, Penn State University Police evacuated Atherton Hall after a suspicious package was found. The incident ended up being a hoax, and police did everything by the book.
The department knows other emergency responses may be much different.
“We were able to slowly to slowly get people out of the building without a panic, this scenario may create a panic where people need to evacuate quickly,” PSU Assistant Police Chief Tyrone Parham said.
On Tuesday, the Business School became a film set, student actors sprinting for the doors and following a director's cues.
“We're trying to simulate what a real life response would look like from the law enforcement end, particularly from the student end as far as if there's a situation in a classroom or an office what students may do what faculty and staff may do,” Parham said.
A Penn State Public Broadcasting crew will edit footage from the three days of filming; Then officers and staff will have a tool that could potentially save lives if there is ever an emergency unlike anything University Park's ever seen.
The department is also planning to have this video available to all Centre County emergency responders. If there ever is a large scale response on campus, those folks would be part of the team on campus too.