Mount Marty University Hosts Community First Responders for Emergency Drills and Training Exercises

May 14, 2024

On May 22, 2024 beginning at 10 a.m., Mount Marty University will be hosting local emergency services on the Yankton campus for emergency drills and training exercises that will continue throughout the day. This will include the Yankton Police Department and the Yankton County Sheriff Department. 

The Mount Marty and Yankton community may see a strong police and Special Weapons and Tactics (SWAT) team presence, drone usage, and emergency lights. Sirens and simulated gun shots may be heard by those in the area. The emergency services gathered will be practicing a number of training exercises for example, a hostage situation on campus. “The event has many safety measures in place,” says Todd Brandt, Mount Marty University director of campus safety, “and we ask that the public respect the training event by not interfering with those engaged in training.” 

Mount Marty is being proactive and prepared to grow and learn from these exercises. Katie Harrell, Mount Marty University vice president for student success, remarks, “This exercise is a great opportunity for Mount Marty University to partner with local law enforcement and emergency management officials. The exercise is designed to evaluate emergency preparedness, current procedures and train on how to effectively and efficiently handle real-life, high-level events. These training exercises are vital in bringing regional partners together to discuss planned responses to major events.” 

The city of Yankton and the Mount Marty community are working closely together and will have a mutual benefit from this training. “The collaboration between the Yankton Police Department, area first responders, and Mount Marty University exemplifies the crucial synergy between law enforcement and educational institutions in preparing for and responding to threats,” mentions Yankton Police Chief, Jason Foote. “Together, they not only strengthen community safety but also foster resilience through shared knowledge and coordinated action.”





Founded in 1936 by the Benedictine Sisters of Sacred Heart Monastery, Mount Marty University is South Dakota's only Catholic institution of higher education. Located along the bluffs of the Missouri River in Yankton, with additional locations in Watertown and Sioux Falls, Mount Marty offers undergraduate and graduate degrees focusing on student and alumni success in high-demand fields such as health sciences, education, criminal justice, business, accounting, and more. A community of learners in the Benedictine tradition, Mount Marty emphasizes academic excellence and develops well-rounded students with intellectual competence, professional and personal skills and moral, spiritual and social values. To learn more, visit