SUFFOLK COUNTY, N.Y. — Law enforcement officials on Long Island spent Wednesday preparing for the worst. They were on board the Port Jefferson Ferry, training for active shooter response.
CBS2’s Nick Caloway has more on why the drills are so crucial.
In chaotic moments, we need law enforcement the most. Luckily, the gunshots heard Wednesday were blanks and the bloodied bodies on the floor were staged. It was an active shooter drill, a joint operation between Suffolk County Police and the U.S. Coast Guard. They were preparing to take on a gunman, on land or at sea.
“This is what law enforcement is all about: having these partnerships, making sure we’re getting ahead of any potential violence and making sure that we’re prepared to respond,” Suffolk County Police Commissioner Rodney Harrison said.
“We need to train together on a regular basis to ensure that we are ready for a real-time incident,” added Capt. Eva Van Camp, Coast Guard commander of the Long Island Sound sector.
The training prepares officers for active shooter scenarios, as well as stopping the bleeding on wounded victims.
The Bridgeport & Port Jefferson Steamboat Company welcomes drills like this to help keep passengers and crew safe.
“The key thing is that we get to meet the people we will be interacting with in the event of a real situation,” vice president and general manager Fred Hall said.
Suffolk County has recently held training exercises like this at schools, hospitals and supermarkets, and more will be held in the future.
Officials say there are no specific threats to ferries, but they are potential targets.
“That’s why we chose this location. The potential is there. But I want to make sure that my officers, as well as our partnering agencies, are ready to respond,” Harrison said.
Police officials say with mass shootings happening all over the country, they can never be overprepared.