FBI El Paso, the El Paso Police, and the Texas Department of Public Safety Conducts Active Shooter Exercise
EL PASO, TX—In an effort to continue our preparedness to respond and manage a mass casualty critical incident, the FBI El Paso Field Office, the El Paso Police Department, and the Texas Department of Public Safety brought together multiple government and law enforcement/first responder leaders at the federal, state, and local level, for a tabletop exercise to strengthen our coordination and capabilities.
The tabletop exercise, a discussion-based event, was designed to bring first responders from different agencies within El Paso County together to discuss their role and response to a real-world large-scale emergency situation and to continue to advance interagency teamwork and collaboration.
“Active Shooter incidents are a reality, and no community is immune from it happening as the community of El Paso knows,” said FBI El Paso Special Agent in Charge Jeffrey R. Downey. “This exercise gives all of El Paso first responders, government leaders, and emergency organizations another opportunity to work together to refine our response to potential incidents in the region. We hope we don’t have to deploy for another mass incident again, but in case we do, the public should feel confident we have a very capable law enforcement community in the country responding.”
“I want to thank FBI Special Agent in Charge Jeffrey Downey for bringing everyone together for this tabletop exercise,” said El Paso Police Department Chief of Police Greg Allen. “It was a worthwhile event to coordinate everyone’s capabilities and have a thorough discussion on an emergency response to include legal process. I appreciate the FBI’s initiative and hosting this event.” The tabletop exercise was held at Armed Forces Reserve Center, 11701 Montana Avenue, El Paso, Texas, and was facilitated by members of the FBI’s Critical Incident Response Group, Crisis Management Unit based in Washington, D.C.
The exercise focused on the critical decisions which would need to be made in the first minutes, hours, and days following a large-scale event. Among the issues discussed and exercised were:
- Coordinating the large-scale response by law enforcement to any active shooter event,
- Coordinating Fire and Emergency medical response,
- Communicating quickly and effectively with the public on the situation, and the need for them to remain away from the incident location,
- Establish an area away from the incident where families could be reunited with their family members; and
- Command, Control, and interoperable communications between all response agencies.
The Active Shooter Tabletop Exercise involved United States Attorney-Western District of Texas Ashley C. Hoff, the FBI El Paso Field Office (FBI), Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives-Dallas Division (ATF), U.S. Border Patrol-El Paso Sector (USBP), U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP), United States Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA), Department of Homeland Security-Cybersecurity and Infrastructure Security Agency (DHS-CISA), Homeland Security Investigations (HSI), United States Marshals Service (USMS), United States Army Garrison-Fort Bliss, United States Attorney Office-Western District of Texas (USAO-WDTX), Texas Department of Public Safety-West Texas Region (TXDPS), TXDPS-Texas Highway Patrol, TXDPS-Texas Ranger Division, TXDPS-Criminal Investigations, El Paso Police Department (EPPD), El Paso County Sheriff’s Office (EPCSO), El Paso County Constable-Precinct 1, Horizon City Police Department (HCPD), Socorro Police Department (SPD), Ysleta Del Sur Pueblo-Department of Public Safety-Tigua Police Department (YDSP-DPS), El Paso Office of Emergency Management (EP-OEM), El Paso Community College Police Department (EPCC-PD), University of Texas El Paso Police Department (UTEP PD), Office of Congressman Tony Gonzales-El Paso, City of El Paso Mayor Oscar Lesser, City of El Paso City Manager Tommy Gonzalez, Office of El Paso County Judge Ricardo Samiengo, El Paso County District Attorney Yvonne Rosales, El Paso Community College (EPCC), and the Socorro Independent School District-Emergency Operations Program (SISD-EOP).