Active shooter drills in Jersey City held in wake of Buffalo supermarket slayings
Jersey City's Department of Public Safety hosted two life-like active shooter training sessions Saturday at the City Hall Annex.
It was the first drills for first responders since 10 people were fatally shot at a Buffalo supermarket.
The simulations feature law enforcement and members of the community acting as real-life victims with first responders putting their training to the test.
Jersey City Mayor Fulop said the city hosts the drills at least three times a year with an outside company that has military and police experience.
Saturday’s drills were scheduled before the mass shooting in New York.
"They'll devise a scenario based on actual events that have happened in other parts of the country, the scenario will begin, they've already made sure our officers don't have live weapons with the training exercises," explained Jersey City Public Safety Director Jim Shea.
Fulop said the drills are an investment that save lives.
"The training that we do here helps us coordinate with fire, with EMS, with the community communications, schools, because at the end of the day, practice is the only thing that will save lives in these situations," Fulop said.
Elected officials and community leaders who joined Fulop all agreed to the necessity of the drills as mass shootings rise around the nation.
In December 2019, there was a mass shooting in Jersey City when two people opened fire at a Kosher grocery store.
In the case of the Buffalo shooting, the suspect had listed New Jersey cities in his writings – Jersey City being one of them.
Fulop said the city has taken steps to ensure public safety.
"We have active communications with the FBI nearly daily. What we've done since then is increased presence, particularly in the south side of the community, predominantly in the African American areas of the city because we want people to feel safe. There are no active threats to Jersey City,” Fulop says.
Fulop added that the city alerts its residents when they hold drills and members of the community are encouraged to participate so they know how to react if ever faced with an active shooter.