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University Of Minnesota Practicing Emergency Drills

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(credit: CBS) Nina Moini
Nina Moini joined the WCCO-TV team in August of 2013. She reports f...
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MINNEAPOLIS (WCCO) – If you’re driving around the University of Minnesota Wednesday, don’t be surprised if you see a lot of police activity. It’s likely only a test.

The West Bank of the campus will be the focus for several agencies as they’ll be training for responses in emergency situations. Training exercises will begin around 9 a.m., so if you live near campus or are already attending classes on campus, you’ll hear a lot of noise and see plenty of commotion starting around that time.

Officials said they are doing joint exercises with regional and federal emergency response agencies. University of Minnesota Campus Police Chief Gregory Hestness said the idea is that all of the officers involved have done individual training on these exercises, but it will be the first time the training has been done as a regional public safety community.

About 270 officers will be participating in drills as if they were responding to an emergency situation on campus. Hestness said it’s not just about seeing what authorities are doing right, but also seeing where they come up short.

He said they would like to avoid having people in the area who think there’s an actual emergency taking place. The drills could create some traffic issues in Minneapolis as 21st Avenue South will be closed from 4th Street to Riverside Avenue. South 5th Street will be closed from 21st Avenue South to 22nd Avenue South, and the University of Minnesota parking lots 94 and C-95 will also be closed.

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