Law enforcement agencies to conduct active shooter training exercise on Monroe Park Campus

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VCUPD will conduct an active shooter training exercise Thursday.

The Virginia Commonwealth University Police Department will conduct an active shooter training exercise Thursday, Aug. 3, on the Monroe Park Campus. Police conducted a similar exercise in August 2016.

VCUPD is working with the Richmond Police Department, Virginia State Police, Federal Bureau of Investigation, and the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives to practice a coordinated response to an active shooter incident. Exercises will consist of a simulated emergency inside the University Student Commons and will be realistic, with simulated sounds inside the building, including gunfire and crowd panic.

This training gives local, state and federal law enforcement partners in Richmond the opportunity to practice a coordinated response to a VCU building, which is critical in an active shooter incident.

“Last year we had the opportunity to work with Richmond Police and this year we’re broadening the scope to include more of our public safety partners,” said VCU Police Chief John Venuti. “These officers, troopers and agents are the people who would be here to help the university in a crisis situation, and this a valuable opportunity to practice our responses side-by-side.”

Police will use multiple communications, including a mass mail to the VCU community and social media posts, in advance of the exercise to increase awareness. Exercises will take place between 9 a.m. and 2 p.m.

  • The University Student Commons, including restaurants, will be closed to the public during the training and will reopen at 3 p.m.; the area will be clearly marked with signs. Security officers will be on-site to answer questions and direct pedestrian traffic.
  •  Parking restrictions will be in place on the 900 block of West Main Street.
  •  North Cherry Street, between Floyd Avenue and West Main Street, will be closed to vehicular traffic.
  •  There will be a heavy police presence in the area.

The VCU community is encouraged to be familiar with the “Run. Hide. Fight.” method of personal protection for active shooter threats. Active shooter safety information and an educational video on “Run. Hide. Fight.” is available on the VCU Police website.

Throughout the year, VCU Police officers offer active shooter response training for groups of VCU and VCU Health students, faculty and staff; please email training requests to To review VCU's Emergency Notification, Response and Evacuation policy, please visit: Emergency Notification, Response and Evacuation policy (PDF)