Borough will host extensive ‘realistic’ active shooter drill

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MANASQUAN — The St. Denis School complex and surrounding streets of the borough will be the center of an extensive active shooter drill involving more than a dozen area law enforcement agencies, including the Manasquan Police Department, on April 20.

According to Manasquan Police Chief Michael Bauer and other law enforcement officials,  the realistic simulations are designed to train police, emergency responders, medical professionals and other key community services to respond quickly, effectively and in a coordinated manner in the event of an actual active shooting incident.

“We will be bringing a level of realism to this drill that may cause concern for anyone unaware of the activity,” Chief Bauer said. “Rest assured we are doing everything we can to keep our citizens informed and involved.” 

According to officials, Manasquan residents should expect to see activity as early as 6 a.m. on Friday. April 20. Manasquan High School students, some portraying victims, will be arriving at that hour to begin taking their positions, under the direction of law enforcement officers.

“The visuals of wounded people are simply a part of the realism and aids in making decisions about medical care and responses should we ever be faced with these realities,” Chief Bauer said. “There is no cause for concern.” 

The drill will close roads and limit access to the St. Denis School area, where residents may find themselves with limited access for the duration of the exercise, according to a press release from the Monmouth County Prosecutor’s office. Union Avenue between Curtis and Marcellus avenues will be closed and traffic diverted towards South Street during the drill. Virginia Avenue will be closed from South Street to Mt Lane. Mt Lane will be closed between Curtis and Marcellus avenues.

Agencies participating in the drill will also include then EMS/first aid and fire departments, Office of Emergency Management, Monmouth County Fire Marshal, Monmouth County Police Chiefs Association, Monmouth County Sheriff’s Office, and the Monmouth County Emergency Response Team (MOCERT).

Also participating, under the aegis of the Southern Monmouth County Active Shooter Partnership, will be the police departments of Asbury Park, Avon-by-the-Sea, Belmar, Bradley Beach, Brielle, Neptune City, Neptune Township, Sea Girt, Spring Lake, Spring Lake Heights and Wall Township.

“We conduct our active shooter training to keep the children and staff safe in the quickest and most efficient manner possible to prevent any and all injuries to the best of our ability,” said Brielle Police Chief Michael Palmer, training officer for the MCPCA.

For more on this story, read next week's edition of The Coast Star—on newsstands Thursday or online in our e-Edition.