Boston Holds Their Biggest Urban Shield Drill Ever This Weekend

Saturday, May 3, 2014
By Paul Martin

Lucas Bowser
Saturday, May 3, 2014

Boston will host their biggest Urban Shield training exercise yet, starting today, May 3rd. The 24-hour drill will involve, “about 2,000 state and local personnel,” and feature several scenarios including, “a hostage rescue of elected officials at Boston City Hall.”

Officials now see last year’s attacks on the Boston Marathon as proof that the drills are a necessary part of crisis management. “The Urban Shield Program, as we’ve learned over the last year, is essential to our city’s safety at any time of crisis,” claims Mayor Martin J. Walsh.

Other drills planned for this year’s program involve a school shooter drill, an injured officer in Cambridge, an explosive device on a transit system, and “a simulation of a terrorist takeover at the Boston Convention and Exhibition Center.” Authorities say that residents should not be alarmed, “if they see an increased police presence Saturday.”

Boston has hosted the training exercise since 2011, and has had teams of police participating in it as far back as 2007. The exercise continues to be surrounded in secrecy with officials giving the public minimum notice ahead of its schedule date and declining to give details about the drills “to avoid tipping off participants.”

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