FDU hosts active shooter drill with local police departments


Story and photos by Dan Landau

Recently, Fairleigh Dickinson University and the Florham Park Police Department hosted active shooter training exercises for local law enforcement on FDU’s Florham Campus.

Police from Florham Park, Madison, East Hanover Township, and Hanover Township converged on the Florham Campus in response to an active shooter scenario in the Twombly Residence Halls. After eliminating one shooter, the police had to contend with a hostage situation, as the remaining shooter barricaded himself into the art studio with several students.

police2“Exercises that simulate critical incidents on our campus serve several purposes,” says Willie Thornton, director of Public Safety at FDU's Florham Campus. “We are always seeking ways to improve on safety and these training exercises also allow law enforcement to familiarize themselves with the layout of our campus, thus allowing a quicker response in an actual emergency.”

In all, 30 police officers along with 30 FDU public safety officers participated in the training drill, with 50 student resident assistants assisting and standing in as hostages.


“The exercise went very well,” says Thornton. “Our university emergency management team met and did an outstanding job of discussing plans during such an incident to ensure maximum safety to the campus community. Special thanks to Robert Treiber, acting chief of Florham Park Police, for his role in organizing the drill.”