April 30, 2014

FBI and Law Enforcement Partners to Host Comprehensive Incident Threat Response Exercise

The El Paso Field Office of the FBI will host a training exercise to simulate a complex terrorist attack in a public venue. The exercise will begin during the late evening hours at Sunland Park Mall on Thursday, May 1, 2014, and conclude prior to normal business hours on Friday, May 2, 2014, for mall tenants and patrons.

The FBI—in partnership with federal, state, and local law enforcement, fire, emergency medical services (EMS), and the private sector—is conducting exercises at local malls across the country as 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.

“This exercise gives all of the El Paso law enforcement agencies another chance to work together to refine our response to potential incidents in the region. We are fortunate to have great working relations with our federal, state, and local law enforcement partners through the Unified Command of the Alliance to Combat Transnational Threats (ACTT), which helps us build better responses each and every time we train. We hope we never have to deploy for a real incident, but in case we do, the public should know that we have one of the best joint law enforcement communities in the country responding.” said Douglas E. Lindquist, Special Agent in Charge of the El Paso FBI.

Every effort has been made to schedule this exercise so as not to interfere with normal mall operations. The overnight exercise at Sunland Park Mall will have no effect on the normal business hours of the mall’s tenants and have minimal effect on pre-opening activities. While the public may see law enforcement activity at Sunland Park Mall, the public is advised to avoid the exercise area while the training is in progress.

Participating agencies include: Federal Bureau of Investigation; U.S. Customs and Border Protection; U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement/Homeland Security Investigations; U.S. Secret Service; Drug Enforcement Administration; U.S. Marshals Service; Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms, and Explosives; Joint Task Force North; Texas Department of Public Safety; El Paso Police Department; and El Paso County Sheriff’s Office.

Due to the nature of this exercise, access to the exercise site will not be granted. If media arrives on property, they will be relocated to a designated area of the mall parking lot.

- More information: Active Shooter and Mass Casualty Incidents webpage