Only A Drill: Active Shooter Response Training At Water Tower Early Tuesday

Steve Miller
September 16, 2019 - 7:38 pm

(Photo by Terrence Antonio James/Chicago Tribune/TNS/Sipa USA)


CHICAGO (WBBM NEWSRADIO) – Law enforcement on Tuesday morning will conduct an active shooter drill at Water Tower Place, and it's believed to be the largest drill ever at the vertical mall on Michigan Avenue.

Water Tower Place has done smaller-scale drills, but 2nd Ward Alderman Brian Hopkins said this will be the largest, involving hundreds of people -- the Chicago Office of Emergency Management and Communications, Chicago Police and private mall security.

The drill is scheduled to begin at 6 a.m.

Hopkins calls Water Tower Place "the Times Square of Chicago."

"We're trying to not be too disruptive to the morning rush hour. We are asking civilians to please avoid the area. There's nothing that you can observe as a curious onlooker,” he said.

"There will be a security perimeter established to keep people away, so we're just asking for the public's patience to avoid the area while the training is ongoing."

Hopkins said there's no documented threat that would suggest Water Tower Place is a target.

He does not know how much it will all cost.

"I do know they bring in some very expensive vehicles," he said. "But it has to be done."

Hopkins said OEMC will lead the training drill and "conduct a thorough simulation, run through a variety of active shooter scenarios and the appropriate response to each."

He says there will be a script.

“In most cases, the field officers and first responders who are undergoing the training don't know what that script is,” he said.