WKU to host active-shooter training for local police agencies


The front office of the WKU Police Department.

Makaio Smith, Staff Writer

Public safety agencies from throughout Bowling Green will gather on the WKU campus Wednesday through Friday this week to collaborate on training for an emergency, WKU Police officials said Tuesday. 

While the multi-agency training hosted by WKU comes in the wake of criticism about the slow and poorly coordinated police response to an active shooter at an elementary school in Uvalde, Texas, a WKU Police spokesman said that incident did not prompt the session in Bowling Green. 

This week’s training, WKU Police public information officer Melissa Bailey said, allows the local agencies to train on a scale they could not do individually and will help with coordination if there is a major local event.

“It allows us to communicate with all the different agencies – for instance, we would have a ‘command post’ where all the different agencies chiefs, supervisors, or whomever is going to be in charge would be,” Bailey said.“They would be able to organize and tell the other units what they need them to do.” 

This helps the agencies involved be more organized in stopping the threat quickly and efficiently, while saving as many lives as possible, Bailey said. 

The training, which will run from 8 a.m. until 5:30 p.m. each day, will take place at Douglas Keen Hall and will include guns firing blank ammunition, according to an email sent to the campus community. Agencies participating are: 

  • WKU Police.
  • Bowling Green Police. 
  • Warren County Sheriff’s Office. 
  • Kentucky State Police.
  • Bowling Green Fire Department. 
  • Emergency Medical Services. 
  • Emergency management personnel and other partners.

This is something that all agencies try to train on,” Bailey said. “Mostly the agencies train individually but as we know if something like this were to happen in Bowling Green all agencies would respond.” 

 Working together, the Bowling Green Police Department provides previously trained instructors, while WKU police provides the facilities for the training.

WKU’s police department has its own in-house training that may have parts of the active shooter response in it, but the joint training helps WKU officers work with law enforcement agencies throughout the city and the county.

“The in-house training may not be the experience we’re going to have this week with all of the other agencies …,” Bailey said. “We wouldn’t be able to get that type of training on that big of a scale individually.”

This training allows all of the agencies to be able to train as one team. They do this so that in case of an active shooter emergency all the agencies know how each other will respond and be more organized.

The WKU police department will be sending out notices on its social media accounts to remind people of the events.

“People may not even hear them because they are not super loud,” Bailey said. “We let people know that just in case they are outside walking by Douglas Keen and they hear it so they don’t get alarmed and think that there is a real active shooter on campus.” 


Makaio Smith can be reached at [email protected].