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Police ran active-shooter drills outside schools, but not everybody was told they were only practice

Note: Updated with comments from a city spokesman.

Boston Police conducted active-shooter drills this week, including outside school, giving officers a chance to practice how they'd respond to a person with a high-capacity weapon running amok.

The only problem, at least at the Irving Middle School in Roslindale today, is that the school was locked down today and at least some teachers were told this was no drill, according to one person who said their partner, a teacher there, frantically contacted them. That person then contact Universal Hub after we'd tweeted about the drill at 11:46 a.m.

A city spokesman says there were no police physically present at the school for the drill, that the exercise was a "tabletop" drill done over the BPD radio system, allegedly involving a guy with a gun getting into the school and shooting several people on the first floor, before he went up to the second floor where, after a student supposedly jumped out a window, a police "contact team" went inside and "neutralized" him. If there were police at the Irving, they were there for some other reason, he said.

The exercise was run three times on a police channel normally only used for large events, such as the Marathon, or drills, rather than on the frequency that District E-5, which covers Roslindale, uses. Each simulation was also preceded with an announcement that it was only an exercise.

A parent at the Dever School says her son reported seeing "a SWAT team" outside today.

This afternoon, BPS alerted parents, via two text messages, about active-shooter drills near schools:

Text messages from BPS saying not to be alarmed about shooter drills

In the North End simulation, which the spokesman said was also a "tabletop" exercise over the radio, police ran through an even more extensive drill involving two shooters on a roof near Hanover Street picking off pedestrians, people running for their lives down Hanover towards the Greenway and another man with a gun in Puopolo Park who shot at least one person as large numbers of people ran down Commercial Street. In that drill, one of the shooters on the left blew his brains out while descending a fire escape; the shooter in the park was captured with three guns in his possession.

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Comments

from a staged event. :-(

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Voting closed 65

These practice drills are terrifying to students when they happen. Do not conduct these when students are inside. Get volunteers like they do with search & rescue. It's bad enough children have to be terrified about this topic on a daily basis and then have inept officials neglect to inform everyone of this drill.

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Voting closed 88

I agree that BPS majorly dropped the ball by failing to communicate the drill to parents and students.

However, I DO absolutely think that the drills should include school children. Since our lovely national lawmakers refuse to pass substantive gun control measures, mass shootings will unfortunately remain part of our reality for the foreseeable future. Just like schools practice for fires (or tornados or tsunamis--- depending on what part of the world you're in), USA school children need to practice active shooter drills, so they know what to do in the worst case scenario. Uvalde, Sandy Hook, Columbine, and Parkland are the new norm. I wish I didn't have to type that sentence, but here we are.

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Voting closed 15

I understand what you're saying, but the training for the kids doesn't have to happen at the same time as the police training. There's no reason the kids should have to see and hear armed police running through the hallways for their training. Especially since it unfortunately seems like it could lead to unrealistic expectations of helps, as we've seen in too many cases.

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Voting closed 42

On the part of both BPS and BPD, both are whom well aware of the constant trauma the majority of THESE children face on a daily basis. What an awful display of respect, empathy or even compassion for these kids. ASK them how many of them really have experienced this "drill" in real time and maybe just maybe they'll be much more responsible adults the next time. Mayor Wu gots alot of fixing to do.

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Voting closed 18

With parents, is anyone really shocked! BPS is an utter failure at everything they do.

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Voting closed 34

It’s schools’ responsibility when the dumbass cops decide to play cops & robbers at a school?

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Voting closed 25

And BPS didn’t coordinate/approve with them first? This is BPS’s fault plain and simple.

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Voting closed 29

My answer is the BPD.

When BPS ran active shooter drills last week it was communicated beforehand repeatedly.

Would I put it past BPD to do their cute little practice without telling anybody? No, not at all.

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Voting closed 22

BPD just stormed in and performed their drill. BPS had to have been aware this was happening and dropped the ball on communicating it.

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Voting closed 26

But continue to spread your hate.

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Voting closed 7

I recall your “iF tHIs WuZ a COp!” rant a few weeks ago. Hope you didn’t miss the counter-example, the story about a couple wife-beating cops getting arrested — with zero comments about what a rotten institution the police are.

https://www.universalhub.com/2022/two-boston-cops-charged-attacking-fami...

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Voting closed 15

But you have a point and I stand corrected.

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Voting closed 10

My daughter's BPS school had a lockdown drill this week and, as they have in the past, the school notified us the week before it was happening, then notified us what time it was happening, then sent emails/texts both before and after reminding us that it was a drill. The kids and teachers were all notified ahead of time as well. There must have been some major breakdown of communication at the Irving.

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Voting closed 44

Be done on Saturdays?

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Voting closed 13

Then yes. But they don’t.

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Voting closed 13

Great society we’ve got, thanks to you massacre and mass murder fans. Wouldn’t want to get in the way of your all-important hobby.

*spits on ground*

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Voting closed 33

This sort of insanity results in your tax dollars going into civil settlements.

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Voting closed 22

Screw this stupidity. Screw the police. God bless them for continually proving how little they care for anyone but themselves, running an active shooter drill with kids around — without fucking telling anyone. Fuck the police.

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Voting closed 23

The police come to the rescue in times of crisis. You must live a safe and cozy life in a neighborhood with no crime. People like you running around saying abolish the police are putting people who live in areas of high crime in more danger. That is a fact.

If you must spew you’re hatred online, try focusing on what happens in reality. The school system did not share the information with parents and it is their fault in causing the confusion.

Students and teachers should be present for drills. Have you ever been part of a fire drill? Do you not want students and teachers to be as safe as possible in the event of an emergency?

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Voting closed 32

“The police come to the rescue in times of crisis.” 20 students and teachers in Uvalde couldn’t be reached for comment about the bravery of the police. Because what happens in reality, as you put it, is that the police is an unjust and wildly ineffective institution that looks after itself first and the population… later.

And as I said elsewhere, when BPS ran active shooter drills last week it was communicated repeatedly beforehand. BPD decided to do its little dress rehearsal yesterday and didn’t bother telling anyone — because the police don’t give a fuck about anyone but themselves.

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Voting closed 17

Those cops were ordered to not go into the building and yes it was an incredible error in judgement that resulted in horrible tragedy. Investigations will be held and hopefully there will be accountability.

For every instance you can bring up of cops making the wrong decision, there are thousands where they have made the right decision and saved lives.

This was an error by BPS plain and simple. There are literally parents of students on here saying that their school was notified and relayed the information properly. The cops definitely let the schools know what was happening.

I hope the bubble you have put around yourself continues to keep you cozy and safe and you never need the police for anything.

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Voting closed 22

I hope the bubble you have put around yourself continues to keep you cozy and safe and you never need the police for anything.

If you actually think the cops are always showing up to help out, it's clear that your bubble has done a great job of keeping you cozy and safe.

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Voting closed 14

Gun violence more than once and the cops came every time in under 2 minutes. You have a different appreciation for them after your life has been put in danger by other people.

What are you saying? They’re not showing up to help out?

I’ll say it again. The cops have saved my life several times and when bullets are flying past your face, believe me, you want the cops to come fast.

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Voting closed 14

The police come to the rescue in times of crisis

name one (1) time this has happened

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Voting closed 13

I’ve been around gun violence unfortunately and they absolutely come to the rescue.

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Voting closed 12

The police come to the rescue in times of crisis.

clearly has never actually had to call the cops in a time of crisis. If you're lucky, they'll show up 3 hours late to tell you that there's nothing they can do at this point. If you're unlucky...

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Voting closed 10

The police come incredibly fast in Boston when there is a shooting. And you’re right, I didn’t have to call them. They just came…to the rescue.

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Voting closed 10

By all accounts, your experience was exceptional. Don't assume that others are equally fortunate.

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Voting closed 8

The police respond very quickly when there is a shooting. I can’t speak for other places. Yes, I was “fortunate” the police came quickly in response to bullets whizzing past me or me and my family.

What is unfortunate is there continues to be shootings all the time in the same neighborhoods. At some point, people need to agree that safety is priority number one for a healthy, functioning society. Allowing gangs and gun violence to take over the streets of those who are most vulnerable is both irresponsible and atrocious.

Hopefully someday we have a city council and mayor that is actually willing to address this crisis. Until then, it continues to be a part of systemic racism governed by insincere politicians.

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Voting closed 10

The police come incredibly fast in Boston when there is a shooting. And you’re right, I didn’t have to call them. They just came…to the rescue.

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Voting closed 10