Leon County Task Force Exercises

Since September 11, the threat of another possible terrorist attack has become a major concern. Law enforcement agencies across the country have prepared for such an event, as are our own officers here at home.

There was an explosion, gunfire and tons of wounded men and women, but it was all make believe. What started as a normal day at the Doyle Conner Ag Plant turned into a nightmare for law enforcement.

OFC Maria Mercurio with the Tallahassee Police Department says, "It's good training and we need it, cause you never know what's going to happen, so it's a real good tool."

Terrorists are loaded and on the loose. Several innocent by-standers are dead, others or wounded.

"I have a gun shot wound to my thigh and we were attacked by terrorists," said Rickards High student Diondra Brown.

Sheriff Larry Campbell with the Leon County Sheriff's Office, comments, "This scenario today a situation is going to be where an incident occurs in Suwannee County that would normally draw the resources over there for a big chemical situation."

If this were a real emergency you can't have all the resources in Suwannee County and in Leon County at the same time. Tuesday’s exercise is to see how agencies from various counties work together in a crisis situation. Just as the name states, "Operation Unified Response."

Tom McInerney, Regional Director for FDLE, says, "We can try to improve our policies at a desk and continue to try and fine tune our abilities, but nothing takes the place of coming out here in a field exercise and bring all the responders together in a unified response."

Tuesday’s exercise was organized by the North Florida Regional Domestic Security Task Force. The FDLE regional director says these exercises are of course paid for by the federal government, and just one of these exercise can run up to $90,000.