Dozens of police at West Texas A&M: What happened?

Dozens of police at West Texas A&M: What happened?

CANYON, TX - SWAT team members and police swarmed a parking lot on the WT campus Friday afternoon.

Classes are out for the summer and when motorists' passing by saw police cars and a mobile command RV in the campus lot on 23rd St., many were curious as to what was going on.

"They've set up a situation inside the school here with suspects, bystanders and injured people," Sgt. Brent Barbee with the Amarillo Police Department said. "Officers were sent in small groups to respond to the situation as realistically as possible."

It's all part of a training exercise involving law enforcement agencies from across the panhandle, meant to represent a mock campus shooting.

Though Friday's situation wasn't real, it very well could have been.

"There is nothing more serious than a school shooting," Barbee said. "Nothing raises more concerns than our kids."

It's mass shootings like Virginia Tech and the April shooting in private college in California that makes improving safety a top priority for law enforcement.

"We certainly don't want to let our guard down and we certainly hope nothing of this nature would ever occur here at WT," Lt. Patrick Coggins with the WTAMU Police Department said. "However, we want to be prepared to where if something like this occurred, we would be able to respond effectively."

If a major emergency were to happen on a college campus, it's imperative police forces throughout the panhandle have the ability to network.

"You'll be joined by whoever hears the radio and can come to help," Barbee said.

Hopefully that type of call won't come across the radio here in the panhandle anytime soon.