The Secaucus Police Department along with other town first responders will conduct an active shooter drill at the Secaucus High School on Friday, November 5, 2021. The drill was supposed to be held on September 2, 2021, but was postponed due to Hurricane Ida. It is important to note, there will be no students on the property during the drill, though administrators and volunteer teachers from the Secaucus School District will be present to add realism to the event and improve the school’s emergency planning.
The scenario was developed by the Secaucus Police Department’s Planning, Special Events, and Intelligence Section, under the auspices of Captain Carlos Goyenechea. It will include a law enforcement response coordinated with other emergency responders and medical personnel during an Active Shooter event. The exercise is intended to improve the capabilities of all involved.
“Although the Secaucus Police Department routinely trains in active shooter response, I feel the effectiveness of that training needs to be tested under the most realistic conditions possible,”
Chief Dennis Miller said. “Tactical professionals from the New Jersey State Police and the Hudson County Regional SWAT Team will evaluate and critique my officers’ response and actions during the drill, which will only enhance our effectiveness and maximize the safety of both the citizenry and our first responders.”
Residents should expect to see an influx of law enforcement and other first responders starting around 7 a.m. at the Secaucus High School and the surrounding area. It is essential that parents and residents understand they will have no access to the Secaucus High School Complex on the day of the drill. It is recommended that travelers find an alternate route during these hours.
“Local police departments are the first responders in most active shooter incidents so it is vital that local police officers have the best training possible. I commend the Secaucus Police Department for doing all they can to ensure the safety of the community they serve,” said Hudson County Prosecutor Esther Suarez.
The exercise will also involve the Secaucus Fire Department, as well as EMS from Hudson Regional Hospital. The Secaucus Office of Emergency Management, Hudson County Office of Emergency Management, New Jersey State Police, and Secaucus Department of Public Works will also participate in the event.
“While we certainly hope the training and protocols put in place to deal with an active shooter never have to be used, I am thankful that our Police Department is conducting the training, so they are prepared to protect our community against all potential threats,” said Mayor Gonnelli. “I am so proud of the men and women of our police department who, in my opinion, are among the best in the country.”
“Participating in the Secaucus Police active shooter drill supports our mission to provide safe and effective care to our Secaucus community,” said Sheryl Syby, Assistant Vice President of Nursing for Hudson Regional Hospital. “We commend Chief Miller and his staff as well as all the law enforcement teams that are collaborating on this initiative for helping teachers and administrators feel better prepared for even the unimaginable.”
An indoor media area within the High School Gym will be established for any reporters who wish to cover the event. Press credentials will be needed for access to the press area.