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Fairfax Police Simulate Terrorist Scenario

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By Matt Laslo

Mount Vernon, Virginia isn't where one might expect terrorists to strike the region.

Even so, a group of the town's bike officers spent the day training to respond to a deadly attack.

Mount Vernon's Neighborhood Patrol Unit teamed up with U.S. Marshalls and members of the Coast Guard to simulate different terrorist attacks.

The scenarios took the officers to a day care center, where an explosive device was planted and to a mall, where they found eight victims dead and two gunmen.

"It is very progressive, but it is, we think, the threat that is out there that we need to prepare for. And not just Fairfax County, it's everybody in law enforcement and police," according to Commander Dan Janickey of the Fairfax County SWAT team.

Since April they've trained approximately fifteen hundred local and federal law enforcement agents to handle attacks.

Officer Brian Ruck says it's vital to change the simulations according to what officers are facing around the globe.

"The biggest thing is everything is inteligence driven, so when we get new inteligence we have to change our tactics. Unfortunately they are doing the same thing, so it's a constant cat and mouse game," Rusk said.

Commander Janickey says the Fairfax SWAT team is hoping to expand the program in the next six months, though that will depend on funding.

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