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Local Law Enforcement Agencies Plan Major Emergency Exercise in Arlington Later This Month

Law enforcement officers from around Northern Virginia will convene in Arlington later this month for a training exercise simulating a terrorist attack or some sort of other “active violence incident.”

County police announced this week that the training will take place on Sunday, March 31. But they declined to release any details about its timing or location, except to say that it would involve “multiple locations throughout the region.”

“The public should not experience any significant impacts to traffic routes or public facilities,” police wrote in a news release. “Members of the public will see an increase in public safety vehicles and law enforcement officers in the area but should not be alarmed or concerned as they will be part of the exercise play.”

Police say the exercise will “provide participants with an opportunity to assess capabilities, plans, policies and procedures outlined in a recently developed Complex Coordinated Attack Traffic Management Plan.”

“It will focus on decision-making, coordination and integration with other organizations during an active violence incident,” police said.

The Northern Virginia Emergency Response System, a joint effort to prepare for emergencies by the area’s law enforcement agency is sponsoring the exercise. Funding will come from the Department of Homeland Security.

The following agencies plan to participate:

  • Arlington County Police Department
  • Fairfax County Police Department
  • Metropolitan Washington Airport Authority
  • Metro Transit Police Department
  • Virginia Department of Transportation
  • Virginia State Police
  • U.S. Park Police

Police say that neither members of the public nor the media will be allowed access to the exercise and its participants.

Arlington has been the site of several other terrorism, or mass violence, exercises in past years as well.

File photo

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