FBI, NYPD conduct "realistic" nuclear disaster drill


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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About the author

Doug Wyllie is Editor at Large for PoliceOne, providing police training content on a wide range of topics and trends affecting the law enforcement community. Doug is the 2014 Western Publishing Association "Maggie Award" winner for Best Regularly Featured Digital Edition Column, and has authored more than 1,000 articles and tactical tips. Doug hosts the PoliceOne Podcast, Policing Matters, and is the host for PoliceOne Video interviews. Doug is a member of International Law Enforcement Educators and Trainers Association (ILEETA), an Associate Member of the California Peace Officers' Association (CPOA), and a member of the Public Safety Writers Association (PSWA).

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