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This is just a drill

Homeland Security conducts active shooter drill at federal building

Posted: June 27, 2014 - 12:19pm  |  Updated: June 29, 2014 - 12:09am

The U.S. Federal Building on Ninth Street in downtown Juneau was evacuated at noon Friday, but fortunately there was no reason to freak out. It was only a drill.

The evacuation was part of the Federal Protective Service’s active shooter response drill, said FPS Chief of Public Affairs Jacqueline Yost.

FPS is an agency of the Department of Homeland Security and it runs the drill in Juneau twice a year to ensure tenants of the federal building know what to do in case of such an emergency.

Tenants received classroom training on what to do if a shooter enters the building earlier this week, Yost said in a phone interview.

On Friday, a fire alarm prompted a full building evacuation and the implementation of the “Occupant Emergency Plan,” Yost said. FPS, meanwhile, was to secure the sixth and seventh floor of the nine-story building.

Yost said the drill is a joint agency training exercise. Other participants included the Juneau Police Department, the NOAA Office of Law Enforcement, U.S. Forest Service law enforcement and the U.S. Coast Guard. NOAA, the Forest Service and the Coast Guard all have offices in the federal building, as does the Bureau of Indian Affairs, the Department of Justice, the Veterans Administration, Social Security Administration and the Government Services Administration.

The child care center at the building was closed on Friday for the drill to avoid worrying parents. The public was not expected to be affected.

Yost said FPS protects more than 9,000 federal buildings and 1.4 million federal employees and visitors throughout the country.

• Contact reporter Emily Russo Miller at 523-2263 or at emily.miller@juneauempire.com.

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