Courthouse Active Shooter Exercise Scheduled at the M.C. Blanchard Building on Friday, April 26, 2019

First Judicial Circuit                  
Robin Wright, Court Administrator                 
Will Moore, Chief Deputy Court Administrator
190 Governmental Center; Pensacola, FL  32502
TEL (850) 595-4400 / FAX (850) 595-0360
Courthouse Active Shooter Exercise Scheduled at the M.C. Blanchard Building on Friday, April 26, 2019
The First Judicial Circuit, in conjunction with the Escambia County Sheriff’s Office, will conduct an active shooter exercise on Friday, April 26, 2019 from noon until 5 p.m. at the M.C. Blanchard Judicial Building. The event is designed to assess how court leadership, stakeholders, staff, and law enforcement agencies respond to an active shooter scenario within the courthouse, and is part of a continuing effort to both ensure a safe forum for the resolution of legal disputes and protect employees and the public.
“We are conducting this exercise to assess how our staff, other courthouse agency employees, emergency services, and local law enforcement organizations react to an active shooter in this building,” said Circuit Judge Jan Shackelford, the coordinating judicial officer for the event. “It’s something that you hope never happens, but we believe that careful preparation and assessment are critical in creating a safe environment, both here in the courthouse and the community at large.  We plan to evaluate the effectiveness of our interagency communication and coordination, as well as review how our staff members respond to such an event, so that we can continue to improve our awareness of proper safety procedures.” 
Perimeter streets will not be closed, but members of the public should be aware that traffic on the surrounding streets (Government, Spring, Baylen, and Main) may be affected for the duration of the exercise.   The public may conduct regular court business from 8 a.m. to noon; however, the courthouse will be closed to the public at noon.  Signs will be clearly posted to inform of any temporary road closures and additional important information.  Members of the public should be aware that events related to the Pensacola Crawfish Festival are also scheduled for April 26 at the nearby Vince Whibbs Sr. Community Maritime Park. As a result, extra time may be needed to navigate the area surrounding the courthouse.
Beginning at noon, the Escambia County Clerk of the Circuit Court will have limited staff available on the first floor of the Board of County Commissioners Building, 221 Palafox Place, for the filing of emergency matters only, specifically, petitions for domestic violence injunction and Baker Act and Marchman Act petitions.  E-filing of documents will not be affected by the closure.
Media members may stage in the designated media area on the southeast lawn in front of the M.C. Blanchard Building during the exercise, but will not be permitted inside the building.  ECSO Colonel Young and Judge Shackelford will be available at 11:30 in the media area for interviews prior to the exercise.
The following agencies are participating:
First Judicial Circuit
Escambia County Sheriff’s Office
Escambia County Clerk of the Circuit Court
First Judicial Circuit Office of the Public Defender
First Judicial Circuit Office of the State Attorney
Escambia County Board of County Commissioners Administration
Escambia County Fire, EMS, 911 Communications and Corrections
City of Pensacola Police Department, Fire, and EMS
For more information, please contact Amber Southard at the Escambia County Sheriff’s Office, 850-554-2369.