Shops at Mission Viejo Serve as Site for Terrorism Drill

Responses to various threat and rescue scenarios were simulated.

The Shops at Mission Viejo. Patch file photo.
The Shops at Mission Viejo. Patch file photo.

The FBI and several Orange County law enforcement and emergency services agencies today completed an overnight drill intended to simulate a terrorist-type attack at the Shops in Mission Viejo and the South Coast Plaza.

More than 250 people participated in the exercise at the South Coast Plaza, which took place between 10 p.m. Thursday and 4 a.m. today, said Costa Mesa police Lt. Greg Scott.

The FBI led the drills, which also included the Costa Mesa police and fire departments, Orange County Sheriff's Department, Orange County Fire Authority, the Irvine, Newport Beach and Huntington Beach police departments and South Coast Plaza, Scott said.

The agencies were challenged to "facilitate an effective coordinated response" and "to demonstrate their ability to work shoulder-to-shoulder with each other," Scott said.

"This involved cooperative planning by a unified command staff, as well as collaboration amongst involved police SWAT and fire rescue teams from different agencies," Scott said.

Responses to various threat and rescue scenarios were simulated, Scott said.

"The grand scale of the event provided a practical venue for individual agencies to assess best practices as well as areas for improvement," he said.

"Command staff at both locations coordinated with a unified command staff overseeing planning from a remote location in Orange," Scott said.

--City News Service


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