The exercise is over
The day after the large police exercise at Campus Valla, everything looks normal. Nothing can be seen of the barriers, explosions, task force personnel or extras.
The police are always carrying out exercises, at different scales, of different types, and at all possible locations in public spaces. This particular exercise was relatively large, since it included specialist units from the police forces of other countries.
“When the police asked if they could use Campus Valla as an exercise location, we of course answered ‘Yes’,” says LiU’s security manager Annevi Fredäng. She was present during the exercise as observer. “It’s great that we can contribute to the police and their essential service to society, and it’s also valuable for LiU to gain insight into how they work. We can also gain useful input to our own crisis-management routines and security work.”
The scenario chosen for the exercise was a terrorist event, and extras were needed to take the roles of wounded and killed. Many people had answered the call for participants and around 100 extras, mainly students and co-workers, gathered at Vallfarten for information.
Mikael Söderström from LiU IT and his son Joakim, who is taking the upper secondary teacher programme at LiU, were two of them.
“It sounded fun, and it’s important that the police can carry out exercises”, says Mikael Söderström. “This is as close to the real thing as you can get. It’s important to practise and carry out realistic training exercises. I took a vocational education, so I know how important it is to connect your education with the real world.”
Did you receive information in advance from the police?
“Just to have old clothes on, stuff we didn’t mind getting torn or dirty”, says Mikael Söderström. “I suppose they were thinking about the first-aid work during the exercise.”
Giving the extras injuries using make up is time-consuming, even though the police have brought in experts. But the time spent means that the results are extremely realistic.
The first supposed bomb exploded at 8.00 pm, and military personnel and police came running. The exercise was under way.
Most of the action took place in the Key and D Buildings, which were closed to non-participants. Access to the main university thoroughfare, Corson, between these buildings was not permitted, but so late in the evening only a few cyclists and pedestrians had to take a longer route around the D Building.
The exercise was over by midnight.
“The exercise went well, the police are satisfied and are extremely grateful to LiU. They send a special ‘Thank you’ to all those who joined in, and to the companies and others who allowed their premises to be used”, says Annevi Fredäng.
“Even though LiU was simply a location to hold the exercise, it’s useful for us to collaborate with others and create networks. We also gain valuable experience. The exercise leaders put everything back as it was, and tidied up during the night. As far as I know, the cleaning service staff found very limited traces of this special event on our premises.”
Photo and film: Thor Balkhed
Translation: George Farrants
Last updated: 2018-10-10