Terrorism drill held at Lenox Square



ATLANTA - Dozens of law enforcement officers simulated a complex terrorist attack at Lenox Square on Sunday night. The drill lasted for more than four hours, and included nearly a dozen different agencies, including the FBI and Atlanta Police.

“We have mall security so we have to ensure our plans are consistent with how we would come in and operate,” said J. Britt Johnson, who is Special Agent in Charge of the Atlanta field office.

With the guns drawn, rescue workers pulled out the injured one by one, during this simulated drill. Mall can be especially challenged. The drill was aimed at improving between federal and local official, during complex terrorist threat. This drill comes on the heels of an attack at a mall in Kenya that killed 67 people, including four attackers.

One lesson learned, according to Johnson, is that a difference in the way EMTS and fire/rescue respond to so-called “warm or hot” zones.

“We have to start training ETS and firefighter for more tactical training to go into a warm zone with  armed people, to get the victims out, and save their lives, “ Johnson said. “Most departments are now starting to train their EMTS or their firefighters, where they have ballistic vests, helmets, they will have an armed element with them.”

The drill lasted until about 11 p.m. Sunday night. Federal officials will collaborate with local law enforcement to figure out which areas were in need of improvement.

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