Mall exercise helps agencies prepare for threat - WAFF-TV: News, Weather and Sports for Huntsville, AL

Mall exercise helps agencies prepare for threat

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JACKSON, MS (Mississippi News Now) -

We've seen it happen more than once; terrorist attacks across our nation. But if an attack was to hit our area, do we have the proper man power to stop it?

Tuesday FBI Jackson hosted a training exercise to better prepare local and state agencies in Mississippi. The exercise included FBI Jackson, MHP, Clinton Police and Fire, Jackson Police and Fire, and Hinds County Sheriff's Department.

Those involved had no idea what to expect, but the exercise put them in a real life situation, hence why it was at Metrocenter Mall in Jackson. The mall was closed during the exercise which started around 9:15 p.m.

"Be it a terrorist attack or was this home grown, whatever the case may be we are training together. If you practice together you perform well together. If criminals can be partners in crime we should be partners in fighting crime." said Jackson Police Chief Lindsey Horton.

The goal is to focus on preparedness, response and recovery efforts necessary to effectively address a complex attack.

"It's something that's been on the rise," said Hinds County Sheriff Tyrone Lewis. "We've seen it happen in New York, we've had it happen here before in the city of Pearl, so that's why it's important for us to be prepared and to practice on a regular basis."

Some of the participants say the exercise helps determine what each department needs; weaknesses and strengths.

Organizers say they plan to host more of these types of training exercises in the future.

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