May 16, 2014

FBI, in Partnership with State and Local Law Enforcement, Hosts Comprehensive Incident Threat Response Exercise

The Boston Division of the FBI, Hanover Police Department, Hanover Fire Department, The Hanover Mall Management CBL & Associates Inc., and Mall Public Safety Universal Protection Services LLC, Department of Homeland Security (DHS), Massachusetts State Police, and Metropolitan Law Enforcement Council (MetroLEC) hosted a training exercise to simulate a complex attack in a public venue. The exercise began on Thursday, May 15, 2014, beginning at 11:30 p.m. at The Hanover Mall located in Hanover, Massachusetts and was successfully completed overnight.

Nationally, the FBI and DHS are partnering with state and local law enforcement, fire, and emergency medical services (EMS) and various private sector partners to conduct exercises as part of the final phase of the Complex Mall Attack initiative, which was developed to promote preparedness. In 2013, all FBI field offices hosted facilitated discussions with public safety and private sector partners that focused on preparedness, response, and recovery efforts necessary to effectively address a complex attack. The FBI is committed to strengthening public safety and private sector partnerships necessary to protect the United States and its citizens.

“The FBI’s Boston Division can attest that preparedness continues to be mission critical in an effort to protect our communities and our ability to respond, if indeed, a multi-threat crisis should occur. Now more than ever, it is essential to ensure a united and prepared response, and an exercise as such, allows the FBI and our partners to assess protocols and make improvements,” said Assistant Special Agent in Charge Kieran Ramsey. “Our response efforts rely upon our continued collaboration with local, state, and federal law enforcement agencies, first responders, and our private sector partners.”

Hanover Chief of Police Walter L. Sweeney said, “In an effort to best prepare for responding to critical incidents in the community, the Hanover Police Department welcomed the opportunity to work with our federal, state, regional, and local law enforcement and public safety partners. Our continuing partnership with The Hanover Mall provided a realistic venue for the training exercise. This exercise has strengthened the Hanover Police Department’s ability to respond to and coordinate public safety efforts during a critical incident.”

“The Hanover Mall Management (CBL & Associates Inc.) and Mall Public Safety (Universal Protection Services LLC) welcomed the opportunity to provide federal, state, regional, and local law enforcement and public safety partners a real working venue to train. The venue provided all of the individual agencies the opportunity to interact in critical situations and practice tactics and techniques should one of these situations actually arise,” said General Manager Ed Callahan, Hanover Mall, CBL & Associates Inc. “Mall Management and Public Safety personnel were involved in the planning and the exercise itself. This provided great training for our management and public safety team by actually practicing our own emergency procedures in real life situations. The Hanover Mall has always enjoyed our tremendous working relationship with the local Hanover Police and Fire Departments, and we feel the relationships have now extended to the other agencies involved. To participate in this regional exercise surely gave us great insight and strengthened our number one goal, which is to provide a safe and comfortable environment for our shoppers.”

Every effort was made to schedule this exercise so as not to interfere with normal mall operations. Last night’s exercise at The Hanover Mall had no effect on the normal business hours of the mall’s many tenants and will have minimal, if any, effect on pre-opening activities.

The Active Shooter and Mass Casualty Incidents web page is a resource for law enforcement and the public to learn more about critical incidents involving mass casualties.