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Police to Hold ‘Active Shooter’ Training Exercise at Mall

by ARLnow.com March 22, 2012 at 10:43 am 3,816 31 Comments

The Arlington County Police Department and other county agencies will be holding an “active shooter” training exercise at the Pentagon City mall Sunday morning.

The exercise will be held from 4:00 to 11:00 a.m. on Sunday, and will “assess the response of Arlington County’s public safety agencies in a simulated active shooter emergency incident.”

“The public should be advised that there could potentially be some temporary traffic delays as emergency equipment is positioned,” the police department said in a press release. “There will be a large number of public safety vehicles in the area of The Fashion Centre at Pentagon City and several parking lots along Army Navy Drive in close proximity to the mall. The exercise participants will not be activating their emergency lights or sirens at any time during the training.”

The mall will be opening for normal shopping hours after the exercise.

  • John Fontain

    Can I walk by the mall at the appointed time frame and suddenly fall to the ground as if I were shot by the active shooter. If so, will police rescue me?

  • CourthouseChris

    The only active shooters I’ve seen there are tourists with cameras – why do tourists go to that mall? Why are they taking pictures? Some days there are lines of tour busses outside. As malls go it’s “meh”, surely they have better malls at home in the vast expanse of flyover country where they come from.

    • Arlington, Northside

      If you had 500 8th graders you were charged with keeping entertained for a week in DC, can you think of an easier thing to do after they have walked by every monument in town and the museums have all closed for the evening?

      Plus, a lot of American do not live within five hours of a Macy’s or a mall that is not crumbling down.

      • CourthouseChris

        Yeah good points – though, that’s kinda sad.

        • KalashniKEV

          Lack of access to Mall culture and the Consumption mentality isn’t a sad thing.

          • brif

            Mall culture? what is that?

          • nom de guerre

            Mall culture = oxymoron example

          • CourthouseChris

            No, lack of access to “mall culture” isn’t sad – I agree. In fact it speaks well of their home area.

          • drax

            Sometimes mall culture is the ONLY thing they have in their home area. It’s the mall, or nothing.

          • CourthouseChris

            That’s like arguing on a life raft adrift at sea: “Well, it’s seawater or nothing”

          • Josh S

            I don’t think so. Have you ever seen “Clerks?” Not the mall, but another frequently derided artifact of American society – the convenience store. Yet there is a culture there. Shakespeare it ain’t, but it won’t kill you – like seawater.

          • CourthouseChris

            So… like potato chips.

          • Arlington, Northside

            Lack of consumption is what kills an economy.

          • CourthouseChris

            Really, you are asserting a causal relationship there? Sure, in the hypothetical scenario that actors in an economy fail to consume, yes, then it could lead to failure. However, human nature has never failed us there – so such a statement is kinda pointless. It’s like arguing that we shouldn’t do anything about greenhouse gas emissions because lack of CO2 would lead to crop failure – while true, it’s not really going to be a problem.

            Overconsumption, however, hasn’t been working out too well for us.

      • Steve S

        The mall also gives out vouchers for the food court (similar to Union Station in DC) which is an easy way to feed all the kids.

    • Sam

      Yes, because all tourists are from “flyover country”.

    • It’s not for entertainment, it’s for food

      The food court at PC has a “deal” with many local tour bus companies… they sell vouchers at a “discounted” bulk rate and each food court venue has a limited menu (and smaller portions, so it’s not much of a deal) for the students to choose from. It’s helpful for the kids groups because then they don’t have to carry around “lunch money” that they’re more likely to spend on hats and key chains… or lose.

      They also do this same kind of system at Union Station, which is really one of the only large “food court” areas, but their bus parking is extremely limited so more companies take the PC option as they can drop a front door drop off and find parking nearby if not right in front to quickly swing back around and get the kids.

      It’s super annoying for the retailers, but at the same time it’s how a lot of the food court level kiosks make big bucks on cheap trinkets (and the mall is turn as they get a percentage added onto the kiosks “rent” checks that’s a portion of their sales each month).

      • Loach

        I have seen those Ballston buses park behind the Hunan Gate place on Stuart. They can somehow fit two full tour buses back there, including turning them around. Ridiculous.

      • CourthouseChris

        Ahh neat; it’s their feed trough – got it.

        • It’s not for entertainment, it’s for food:

          Yup… the unfortunate part is when there’s weather issues (i.e.- rain on the day they planned to be at the zoo and don’t have tickets for large groups to an indoor event/museum) or when they’re simply “ahead of schedule” these kids get upwards of an hour and half to eat their lunches that takes them 30 minutes tops (and 15 of that is in line deciding where they want to eat). And PC has gotten rid of (and not brought in replacements) SO many stores that could’ve at one point point catered to their age, interests, AND affordable price range. So the kids basically just wonder through the mall trying to yell at their friends over the balconies (as if they’d never been a multi-story open area before, do they do this at their hotels too?), throwing things over said balconies, or “window shopping” aka shoplifting things they want and their parents didn’t give them cash. You also see a lot of the poor geeky kid whose parents gave him souvenir money who gets encouraged to “buy his friends” things they want and don’t have money for and promise they’ll be his friend for “the WHOLE trip” (but Monday at school they’ll ignore him again).

          I used to work at a school, so I know it’s not all kids, but sadly in mass even some of the smarter and better kids do stupid things when they’re with that one kid that starts trouble… and this sort of open and foreign layout where it’s impossible for the chaperone to student ratio to watch each kid is basically a breeding ground for trouble. Working at that mall for 10 years was cheaper than birthday control in my book and put me in no rush to start having kids. Haha!

          • Arlington, Northside

            A lot of these kids HAVE NEVER been to a multi-story open area before, and yes they do these sorts of things in the hotels too. And for many of the chaperones, it is their one shopping trip in “the big city” each year.

            The field trip to DC is a right of passage for much of America’s kids. I won’t knock their experiance.

    • Josh S

      I think it’s primarily for the food court.

      I led more than a few groups there myself in my tour director days. And for a surprisingly high percentage, it really is much more lavish than anything they’ve ever seen.

  • G Clifford Prout

    This will certainly curtail their ability to fulfill their “proactivity expectations.” They’ll have to double down later.

    • Loach

      This is probably the perk for those who met their quotas. Getting to live out their FPS dreams in the Vacant Mall map.

  • BreakPause02

    I thought this is why we have police training facilities. What is up with all the recent training exercises in neighborhoods, public facilities, etc?

    Trying to get us used to the omnipresent police presence?

    • M

      They have training facilities, but if the drill requires them to simulate a shooting in a big public space, I personally don’t want them spending a lot of money to build a sort of fake mall on the grounds of a training facility for them to practice in.

      I’m just glad the exercise involves an “active” shooter. Given our national obesity epidemic, the last thing we need are more soft, lazy, couch potato shooters.

  • It will disturb the mall walkers

    If you’re ever up early and it starts pouring while you’re planning to have a nice day outside, walk into the mall earlier than the 11AM opening on a Sunday (metro access doors open if others aren’t). There are a TON of mall walkers in bright jogging suits that do “laps” around the round tiers of the mall. They’re mostly sweet older ladies who got rained out of their morning park walk, but still it’s kind of fun to just watch the folks before the chaos and crowds begin.

    • I Know Bob Ryan

      There is a 50% chance of rain showers on Sunday morning.

  • WeiQiang

    The sedentary shooter exercise will take place at Sunrise Assisted Living on Wilson.

  • Weatherwatcher

    Predicting a good inch of rain for Sunday.

    • Not to be confused with WMATA

      The Mall Walkers Association of Arlington and Alexandria (MWAAA) will be moving the Sunday morning mall-walking event to the Crystal City Underground due to anticipated rain and the police activity. Colorful jogging suits suggested.


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