Government, RCMP begin filming mock shooting videos in Ottawa

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Government, RCMP begin filming mock shooting videos in Ottawa

A mock armed intruder scenario — complete with gunshots and realistic screaming — is underway in Ottawa this weekend as the federal government updates its security training videos.

The new made-in-Canada video will replace the one produced by the U.S. Department of Homeland Security, which shows employees how they should react if an active shooter were on the loose.

"We needed the employees to see their own work environment," said Anne-Marie Pelletier, chief security officer with the Privy Council Office.

One reason the federal government's training videos needed to be updated is that office buildings in Canada are increasingly open concept, Pelletier said, with more cubicles and fewer closed doors.

"The approach to hiding, the approach to your defence, will be very different because you're in an open environment," she said.

Shooter, screaming employees part of filming

This weekend's scenario features an RCMP officer in civilian clothes posing as an armed intruder, along with actors and volunteers from the public service portraying frightened employees.

While there's nothing on the radar suggesting a potential attack, Pelletier said it's always better for workers to be prepared.

Around 50 people are part of the filming, which is taking place at two Global Affairs Canada buildings: the Lester B. Pearson Building on Sussex Drive and a second building at 234 Laurier Ave. W.

On Saturday, the Lester B. Pearson Building was blocked off with police tape. RCMP vehicles were also parked outside.

No calls, police say

As of 4 p.m. Saturday, Ottawa police said they hadn't received a single call from the public about the scenario.

Pelletier said she didn't expect any calls Sunday either, since the filming at the Laurier Avenue building will take place entirely indoors.

Ottawa police, 911 dispatchers and local media have all been notified of the filming, which starts at 8 a.m., Pelletier said.