St. Charles Herald-Guide

Sheriff's office holds homeland security drill

Staff Report - February 12, 2007

The St. Charles Parish Sheriff's Office issued the following news release regarding a homeland securtiy drill this week.

This week, St. Charles Parish, in conjunction with the United States Department of Homeland Security and the LSU National Center for Security Research and Training, will be holding a major homeland security exercise in the parish.


The exercise will be held beginning Monday February 12, and will conclude on Wednesday February 14.


Participants will include the St. Charles Parish Sheriff’s Office, The St. Charles Parish Emergency Operations Department, The St. Charles Parish Public School System, St. Charles Parish Hospital, Major Industry Representatives, St. Charles Parish Fire Service and other first responders.


The field portion of the exercise will be on Tuesday February 13, the day when the public might notice some of the activity including simulated roadblocks and other law enforcement/first responder activity.


The exercise will focus on the simulated presence of a weapon of mass destruction at an undisclosed location within the parish as well as terrorist operatives who may be present along with the WMD.


It will test and record the response by local law enforcement and first responders to the intelligence supplied by the designers of the exercise.


St. Charles Parish is very fortunate to have been chosen by the Department of Homeland Security for this first major WMD exercise in the United States.


We were chosen because of the excellent working relationship the various governmental entities have here in St. Charles Parish among local industry and ourselves.


Undoubtedly, the presence of several major industrial installations as well as the Waterford Nuclear Facility was also factors in the decision to hold this program here in our parish. The exercise will next be held in Buffalo, New York later this spring.


Numerous representatives of The Department of Homeland Security will be on hand to administer the training/exercise and measure and record our response to the simulated threat. Information learned here will be used by the Department of Homeland Security for future anti-terrorism training in the United States.


Residents may notice temporary inconvenience in the form of highway checkpoints on Tuesday. This should be minimal and should not result in significant problems for our residents.


The knowledge and experience we will gain from this exercise will be invaluable to the local agencies participating and will go a long way toward our ongoing preparation for possible terrorist threats we might experience in the future.