By Jaclyn Bonner, HPU sophomore
BROWNWOOD – December 11, 2014 –Dr. Paul Lilly and Chief Bob Pacatte, the leaders of Howard Payne University’s Department of Public Safety, recently attended a Critical Incident and Active Shooter Response roundtable discussion and training session held by the Federal Bureau of Investigation. Dr. Lilly serves as chief of police and assistant professor of criminal justice and Chief Pacatte serves as assistant chief of police.
The HPU law enforcement personnel were personally requested to attend the seminar by Janet Thomas, the event coordinator and FBI special agent. Dr. Lilly and Chief Pacatte contributed to the roundtable discussion along with local, state and federal law enforcement agencies including the U.S. Department of Homeland Security, the Abilene Police Department, the Taylor County Sheriff’s Department, the Brownwood Police Department, Brown County Sheriff’s Office command staff, the Texas Department of Public Safety, the Eastland Police Department and personnel from Hardin-Simmons University and McMurry University.
The four-hour training and discussion session emphasized response procedures for critical incidents, specifically shootings in populated areas such as shopping and retail centers and college and university campuses.
Participants in the exercise were afforded the opportunity to share their training and field experiences as well as departmental response protocol for critical incidents. Additional topics included information about first-respondent approaches to incidents, maintaining and developing policies as guidelines during events and issuing imperative emergency medical attention to potential victims.
“I feel these types of training programs are extremely important,” said Dr. Lilly. “It’s unfortunate that we should have to train for these types of incidents, but that is the reality of the world in which we live today. The more we train, the better we are able to serve the public and respond professionally should something like this ever actually occur here.”
Dr. Lilly reports that the creation of HPU DPS has directly correlated to a noticeable crime reduction on and immediately around campus. He attributes this positive report to the advanced training of HPU DPS personnel and recruitment of veteran officers who have had years of experience in the law enforcement field, equipping them to provide proficient protection and service to the HPU community.
He also notes the importance of partnering with local law enforcement.
“As proud as we are of the advancements we have made with regard to campus public safety, we must note that the successes we have experienced would not have been possible without the help from the Brownwood Police Department and the Brown County Sheriff’s Office,” Dr. Lilly says. “By working together we make a united force ready to deal with these types of critical incidents, should they occur on or near the campus.”