Using what New York Police Commissioner Raymond Kelly said was a “realistic training environment,” about 400 NYPD officers, some 300 FBI agents and analysts, as well as “an elite unit of federal weapons experts,” (probably a NEST team but reports have not specifically indicated their participation) took part in a counterterrorism exercise late Tuesday night that snarled traffic and caused confusion and frustration among motorists.
The New York Daily News reported that “cops and agents used radiation detection equipment to find an undercover police SUV carrying the bogus bomb.”
Operating as if they had “received a tip that someone was driving around the city with a weapon of mass destruction,” officers and agents fanned out with portable radiation devices in hand, looking for the suspect vehicle.
Despite a few angry commuters, the training appears to have been a success — FBI and NYPD are presently conducting an after-action assessment of the exercise.
The Associated Press said that there have been “no specific threats against New York City” but that law enforcement at the federal and local level have “repeatedly warned that the city remains atop terrorists’ hit lists — and that a radiological or nuclear device could be in their arsenal.”
Joseph Demarest, head of the FBI’s New York office said in that AP story, “It's something we're very concerned about.”
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Doug Wyllie is Editor in Chief of PoliceOne, responsible for setting the editorial direction of the website and managing the planned editorial features by our roster of expert writers. In addition to his editorial and managerial responsibilities, Doug has authored more than 700 feature articles and tactical tips on a wide range of topics and trends that affect the law enforcement community. Doug is a member of International Law Enforcement Educators and Trainers Association (ILEETA), and an Associate Member of the California Peace Officers' Association. He is also a member of the Public Safety Writers Association, and is a two-time (2011 and 2012) Western Publishing Association "Maggie Award" Finalist in the category of Best Regularly Featured Digital Edition Column. Even in his "spare" time, he is active in his support for the law enforcement community, contributing his time and talents toward police-related charitable events as well as participating in force-on-force training, search-and-rescue training, and other scenario-based training designed to prepare cops for the fight they face every day on the street.
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