FBI, Tigard police team up for terrorist attack training at mall

FBI, Tigard police team up for terrorist attack training at mall
(Photo courtesy: FBI)

PORTLAND, Ore. – The FBI and Tigard police simulated a terrorist attack at the Washington Square Mall late Wednesday night.

The FBI said the exercise was not in response to any current threat; it was a method by which authorities can share information and train together.

"Recent incidents at public venues--both in the United States and elsewhere--underscore the need for public safety and private sector partners to train together and to identify best practices," said Gregory T. Bretzing, Special Agent in Charge of the FBI in Oregon. "Coordination and communication are critical to saving lives in the kind of attack we tested."

The exercise included dozens of role players serving as bystanders, hostages, victims and terrorists. Some of the role players were emergency management students at Portland Community College.

During the exercise, Tigard Police and Tualatin Valley Fire and Rescue tested their first response capabilities, while the FBI tested its tactical, explosives, evidence collection and hostage negotiation response skills, the FBI said in a news release.

All agencies also practiced using "unified command" for making critical decisions, and they assessed their ability to communicate and share critical information.

"Now more than ever, partnerships with law enforcement, such as the FBI, are integral in maintaining safe and livable communities," said Tigard Police Chief Alan Orr. "Equally important are the community partnerships which serve to further strengthen our cities and make them safer. We appreciate the assistance provided by the Portland FBI and Washington Square Mall during yesterday's exercise."

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