Published: May 6, 2022
Folsom Field plaza

CU Boulder’s Folsom Field plays host to football games, concerts and other large events, filling the stadium with raucous crowds. Coming up May 11–13, it’ll be home to crisis response and sniper teams training to keep those crowds safe. 

Participants will be firing live rounds of ammunition into specialized steel traps, and although most rifles will be equipped with suppressors to muffle the noise of gunshots, audible gunfire may be heard around the stadium. The University of Colorado Police Department (CUPD) will have signs and staff posted around the perimeter of Folsom Field to remind passers-by of the training and to stress there is no cause for concern.

“Folsom Field provides a unique opportunity for team members from around the region and the country to train together in a real-life setting, coordinating efforts to best respond to incidents in a large, public venue,” said Doreen Jokerst, assistant vice chancellor for public safety and chief of police at CU Boulder.

This training, hosted by CUPD, is known as Police Sniper Response to a Public Venue and is offered by TacFlow Academy. About two dozen members of local and national crisis response and sniper teams will take part in the three-day training, which includes a nighttime exercise on Friday, May 13.

The timing of the training coincides with CU Boulder’s Maymester, when far fewer students will be on campus than during the academic year. Academic departments experiencing indirect noise impacts will be notified ahead of time. Athletic Department events and operations will not take place in Folsom Field during the training.

In addition to notifying campus affiliates of the training, CUPD is coordinating communication to neighbors in University Heights, adjacent to the stadium. Residents of nearby graduate student housing will also receive notification.

“We always do our best to be good neighbors,” said Jokerst. “We feel confident the benefits of this type of crisis-response training will be appreciated by not only our campus community but also by residents throughout Boulder who regularly attend events in our beautiful stadium.”

Countywide first responders who would be called upon to assist CUPD in the event of a critical incident at Folsom Field expressed their thanks to CU Boulder for hosting the training at this venue. “Realistic training in these large venues is very difficult to replicate or replace in a sterile range environment and therefore critical to success,” said Boulder County Sheriff Joe Pelle. 

Boulder Police Chief Maris Herold echoed that sentiment. “We regularly work together with all of our policing partners, but it’s imperative we train together when there’s not an incident so that when something does happen, our responses are more efficient and better coordinated to help keep everyone safe in our community,” she said.