October 20, 2015 Monterey, California “IS MPC READY?”

M. Beck, MPC’s El Yanqui News Source

Few students, staff and faculty have subscribed to the Everbridge Alert Texting System offered by MPC. What would you encounter if you accidentally stumbled into the middle of an active shooter scenario on campus?

First not Last Alert: “Boy, that hurt”

I had to study for three tests last night and stayed up until 4 a.m. I thought my body could survive with just two hours of sleep once more. But, my alarm never went off. The sun shone in my eyes. The usual morning fog had burned off. I stretched and glanced at the clock. Oh shit! 10 o’clock. I have 30 minutes to clean up, get dressed, grab a banana and hit the road for my 10:30 class. Thank God, I live off Grove and can shoot onto campus the back way off El Dorado.

10:20 a.m. I drive up the back way, past the gaggle of cars parked just off campus on Iris Canyon Drive. Without thinking too much, I just pull into my usual parking place somewhere between Facilities and the Theatre. The lot seems rather quiet today, no activity. But, I’m going to be late — two minutes before class — I lock the car, grab my backpack and dash off to music class. I finally come up to the door but it’s locked. I knock but no one answers. I call out but again no response. What the hell! The professor must have been sick again, and I didn’t take the time to look on Webreg to see if any notices were posted. Sometimes, they’ll stick a sign up. Oh well, I’ll just head off to the Student Center.

At the empty, still amphitheater, I think to myself, “What the hell, I have time. I’ll just take the trail and cut over to the stairs near the Administration Building and head off to the library for my study hall.” Sure is pretty rustic but damn quiet down here today. It’s been awhile since I hiked this trail. Coming up onto the wooden bridge and the administration building, it’s a little unsettling to see no one on the bridge or even sitting near the flagpole. The cars are there. But no bus. Am I dreaming? I must be sleeping. I just need to hear the alarm go off and I’ll quit this dream.

Off to the side near the Administration entrance, I hear a loud voice:

“Put your hands in the air. Now, face down, fucker!” screams the Monterey Police officer, pointing his raised gun in my direction. This is one hell of a dream. It seems so real. I can see the glint of sunshine reflecting off his 9mm Glock automatic into my eyes. I can see the guy shaking, clutching the gun with both hands. I can see his sweat spread into his armpits and across his headband. And, of course, the barrel of that gun looks so big to my wide eyes.

“On your knees, damn it!” All of a sudden, a second officer comes from behind, pins my arms and knees me in the back and forces me face down onto the ground. “Who are you?”

My mouth cries out, “I’m a student here at MPC. What’s going on?”

The cop punches me in the mouth. “Shut up. We’ve been on lockdown for the past hour. Don’t play dumb with us. He’s clean, sarge.”

“Cuff him.”

Metal cuffs cut into my wrists; I can feel my lip swell and a trickle of blood drip down my face. My side is beginning to hurt a lot. When am I going to wake up? This dream sucks!

“Squawk, Squawk, Ten four, we have the perp detained. Everbridge texts went out over an hour ago. This is the only activity we’ve seen. All clear at the flagpole.”

“What text? I didn’t get any text. Look at my phone. It’s in my pocket. I didn’t get any text!” I scream, as I realize I am awake and this is no dream.

Why didn’t I sign up for Everbridge!