Open Accessibility Menu

Emergency Drill Planned Today, July 20

Buena Vista's Chief of Police, Dean Morgan's Press Release

PUBLIC NOTICE: Law enforcement training exercise!

Sometime during the week of July 18th, local first responders will be conducting a large-scale exercise at the Buena Vista High School and Middle School. This exercise will involve a multi-agency response, and the public will see a very large law enforcement and first responder presence at BVHS. You may have recently seen us training at the school as we've been practicing our tactics. The exercise is to train, and test our preparedness and protocols for a school violence event. The public can expect reverse 911 notifications from Chaffee County Communications, announcing that the presence at BVHS is for a training exercise only. The exercise may look alarming to some, as it will involve armed officers responding into the school, and role-players being transported via ambulance with mock injuries. There will be clear signage in the area alerting the public that the first responder presence is for a training exercise. We ask the public to please avoid going to the school property so as not to disrupt the exercise.

We sometimes get negative feedback about these sorts of trainings, as the imagery is troubling to some. Honestly, these are troubling times we live in, and it is imperative for first responders to train at this level. Please understand, we coordinate with the School District annually to help them conduct lockdown drills and rehearse safety protocols. The event we have in the coming weeks is not a drill, but an exercise, utilizing a very realistic scenario that first responders have to respond to blind (meaning they have no foreknowledge of the scenario elements). The exercise will involve role-players and realistic, mock injuries that will put the skills and training of all local first responders to the test. This sort of training is called "reality based," and it is designed to test our response, preparedness, and protocols.

Colorado schools are mandated by law to be proactive on school safety, and this is a part of that. School safety is not the responsibility of the school alone, or of the police alone. It should be a partnership with the schools, the police, and the citizens. Despite recent poor police responses to active-shooter events nationally, Colorado law enforcement has, for years, been at the tip of the spear for proper police response to active-shooting events because we've had to do it so often. As much as some people are made uncomfortable by these sorts of exercises, we hate that we have to train for these sorts of nightmare scenarios, too. But we are also keenly aware of the reality of evil in this world, of Colorado's dark history with active-shootings, and our oath and mandate to be prepared. The motto of the BVPD is "Fidem vis et honor ad finem," or "Faith, strength, and honor, until the end." If, God forbid, the unthinkable day should happen in or near our community, we will have trained, we will be prepared, and we will aggressively stop it.

If you have any questions or concerns about the exercise, or about the safety protocols of the schools, please do not hesitate to call us and we are happy to discuss these important issues with you. 🇺🇸

Dean Morgan

Chief of Police

Buena Vista Police Department

713 E. Main St. / Box 1310

Buena Vista, CO 81211

Office: (719) 395-8654

Cell: (719) 395-5457

Fax: (719) 395-8655