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Intruder alert drill at Harrisburg schools was successful, police chief says

updated: 3/8/2017 3:11 PM

HARRISBURG -- Harrisburg Police Department, along with Harrisburg's schools, successfully conducted a state drill designed to protect students, Chief David Morris said.

The exercise -- called an intruder alert drill -- is part of a preparedness plan for schools in case an unauthorized person or persons enter a school building. Illinois mandates that its schools conducts such a drill annually. Harrisburg's drill was last Friday, he said.

"It's a lot like an 'active shooter' drill," Morris said. "We conducted it at all four Harrisburg schools, and all met state requirements for compliance, along with the police department."

Morris said in addition to the intruder alert drill, his department is working with the school system to put an active shooter plan in place as well.

Harrisburg Unit 3 Superintendent Mike Gauch said such drills are essential to student well-being.

"Above all else, we want to provide a safe place to our students," Gauch said.

Calling student safety a top priority, he said the district enjoyed working with the police department.

"We like working with law enforcement to ensure the safety of our students," Gauch said. "You do not want to have that situation, but if you do, you want to be ready."