Sheriff's Department Hosts Shooter, Bomb Training Drill At Valencia Mall
About 200 Sheriff’s Department personnel and volunteers joined in an emergency response training drill Sunday in Santa Clarita for Santa Clarita Valley Sheriff’s Station deputies.
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The training exercise took place at the Westfield Valencia Town Center mall from 7-11 p.m., beginning shortly after the mall closed down for its regular operating hours.
“We’re conducting a series of exercises so that we can be ready in the event of an emergency,” said Commander Mike Parker of the Sheriff’s Department, describing various situations for which deputies were training.
Deputies trained for several hours going through several rescue and evacuation scenarios.
The Bomb Squad vehicle and the Arson/Explosives detail was part one of the exercises while another simulation involved a shooter.
One of the simulations began with a flash bang outside of the Red Robin restaurant at the shopping center during an hour when the parking lot would normally be quiet.
The quiet was disrupted by a group of teenage volunteer “victims” who ran outside the mall screaming as a security guard waiting nearby calmly directed them to a designated safe area.
Another drill involved the bomb squad rendering a possible explosive device safe.
The drill also involved several helicopter units from the Aero Bureau, and deputies from Palmdale, Lancaster, and Headquarters, among others.
The drills take place throughout the year in various parts of Los Angeles County. The goal is to make sure all first-responders are ready in the event of an emergency situation.
“This training is really important for us in that it gets us ready for, sadly, what happens from time to time in society today,” Parker said. “And so we get the sheriff’s deputies and firefighters, who are the regularly assigned people that work this community and we put them through these exercises and drills so that they’re as ready as possible.”
All streets near the shopping mall remained open during the drill.
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