On Wednesday, May 18, the community is invited to attend an open house to learn about a joint active threat preparedness exercise that the Washington State Patrol (WSP) and Washington Department of Enterprise Services (DES) will be conducting on the Capitol Campus in early June.
The open house will take place from 5:30 to 6:30 p.m. at the General Administration Building auditorium, located at 210 11th Ave. S.W. in Olympia. Representatives from WSP and DES will be on hand to answer questions about the Friday, June 3, and Saturday, June 4, exercise.
During the two-day drill, residents, visitors and state employees will notice an increase in law enforcement and fire personnel on the campus. On June 3, first responders will be conducting some walk-through tours of several buildings on the campus.
On Saturday, June 4, about 200 first responders – law enforcement officers, firefighters and medical units – are expected to be on the campus. In addition, first responders will be bringing about 50 support vehicles. They will be using multiple campus buildings including the Cherberg, Legislative, O’Brien and Temple of Justice buildings.
The training will start at about 6 a.m. and end around midnight. Some roadways and parking lots on the west campus will be closed for staging people, equipment and vehicles. There will be signage as well as WSP and DES personnel near the entrances to the four buildings reminding people to stay clear of the active exercise areas.
While there are no known threats to the 486-acre campus, the training is designed to enhance preparedness, improve coordination and develop consistent response efforts among state, local and federal response agencies should an active threat occur. The training will be important since more than 6,000 state employees work on the campus daily, and tens of thousands of people visit the capitol grounds annually.
WSP is responsible for law enforcement on the campus, while DES is responsible for security. Besides WSP and DES, other participating first response agencies include:
- Olympia and Lacey police departments
- Olympia Fire Department
- Thurston County Sheriff’s Office Special Weapons and Tactics (SWAT) Team
- Pierce County Metro SWAT Team
- Lewis County SWAT Team
- Federal Bureau of Investigation SWAT Team