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Authorities from various law enforcement agencies including CSUN Campus Police, LAPD, LA County Sheriff and California Highway Patrol conducted a five-hour campus shooting drill designed to test the coordinated emergency response to a report of an active shooter on a campus at Jeanne Chisholm Hall, Cal State Northridge, on Thursday, December 20, 2012. (Dean Musgrove/Staff Photographer)

The sounds of shouting and fake gunshots echoed around the Cal State Northridge campus Thursday morning as about 100 police officers gathered to practice for a worst-case scenario that has become all too real: a shooter on campus. | PHOTOS

It was coincidence that the "active shooter" drill at CSUN came just six days after 26 people, including 20 children, were shot dead at a Connecticut elementary school.

"It was very much on our minds," CSUN Police Chief Anne Glavin said after the exercise. "You get starkly reminded of why you're doing it and the fact these things sadly do occur. And we have to be prepared to deal with them."

The annual exercise involved officers from CSUN police and five other departments. Students are on winter break.

Capt. Scott Vanscoy of the campus police said they've been doing the drills with other police agencies for five years. Before that, CSUN police did their own drills.

The campus force was joined by officers from the Los Angeles police, Los Angeles school police, California Highway Patrol and Simi Valley police, plus sheriff's deputies from the Lost Hills station.

About five officers at a time went through a 15- to 20-minute scenario, then were debriefed as the next group ran through a drill.

The scenarios are changed every year, and this year's included practice on dealing with deaf people in an emergency. CSUN is home to the National Center on Deafness, which serves about 175 deaf or hard of hearing students at the university.

Some of those students played shooting victims or bystanders.

eric.hartley@dailynews.com

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