ALERT: SJU, Phila. Police to Stage Emergency Drill

Monday, October 19, 2009

PHILADELPHIA (October 16, 2009) -- Saint Joseph’s University will conduct an emergency preparedness exercise on Tuesday, Oct. 20, from 10 a.m.-1 p.m., in Sourin Residence Hall, off the 2400 block of Cardinal Avenue, and in the surrounding area on campus.  The drill will consist of a simulated crisis scenario involving an “active shooter” on campus.

“Our goal in staging this simulated campus crisis exercise is to raise awareness within the University community of how to be prepared and react in the event of an actual emergency situation,” said John Henfey, SJU’s director of public safety. “This is a proactive learning opportunity to assess and improve our security response and communications.”

The Philadelphia Police Department’s Homeland Security Unit, S.W.A.T. Unit and the neighboring 19th Police District are working with University officials in coordinating the exercise.  Also participating are Philadelphia Fire Department Paramedics, the Lower Merion Police Department and nearby Gompers Elementary School, which will conduct an exercise in lockdown procedures at the school.

In advance of the drill, the University community will be notified via text messaging of its impending occurrence. At the time of the exercise, a “this is only a test” text message will be sent, and the Barbelin/Lonergan Bell Tower public address system and siren will also be activated.

As part of the exercise, the 2400 block of Cardinal Avenue will be closed from 10 a.m.-1 p.m. and portions of the campus surrounding Sourin Hall will be cordoned off.  It is anticipated that there will be minimal disruption to the University community, in part because it is taking place on the second day of Fall Break.  There may be some disruption with normal traffic flow due to the closing of Cardinal Avenue.  This will be managed by the Philadelphia Police.

General information about campus-wide emergency procedures and resources is available online at:

Media Contact

Harriet K. Goodheart, Assistant Vice President for University Communications, 610-660-1532,

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