Burlington police collaborated with other first responders to outline their plans for dealing with a potential active shooter incident at the Burlington Mall. (Courtesy Photo)
BURLINGTON — Chief Michael Kent is pleased to announce that the Burlington Police Department hosted more than a dozen other public safety agencies Wednesday for a tabletop exercise designed to prepare for a potential active shooter incident at the Burlington Mall.
Burlington Police, along with the Northeast Homeland Security Regional Advisory Council (NERAC), the Massachusetts Executive Office of Public Safety and Security (EOPSS), the Metropolitan Area Planning Council, Burlington Fire Department and Burlington Mall collaborated on the exercise.
The planning session was funded by NERAC through a Department of Homeland Security grant that the council receives from EOPSS as a way to test the ability of the involved agencies to cohesively respond to an active shooter event at the mall involving multiple casualties.
In addition, the following agencies contributed to the planning effort:
Immigration and Customs Enforcement
Lexington Police Department
Massachusetts State Police
Waltham Police Department
Wilmington Fire Department
Winchester Police Department
Bedford Police Department
Northeastern Massachusetts Law Enforcement Council
Billerica Police Department
Burlington Department of Public Works
Concord Police Department
Lahey Hospital and Medical Center
Each agency worked together to outline their individual roles during every phase of a potential incident, including how the mall would be locked down, how the shooter would be contained and neutralized, and how victims would be treated. The agencies also outlined their strategies for keeping the public informed during an incident.
Wednesday’s exercise was the latest facet of a longstanding effort to prepare for significant incidents of any kind, and the Burlington Mall has been an engaged and cooperative partner with the Burlington police and its partner agencies for several years.
“Exercises like these make us well prepared to deal with extraordinarily dangerous situations,” Chief Kent said. “We are fortunate to be able to collaborate with our partner agencies and develop a unified plan that will best enable us to effectively respond to any kind of active shooter incident should it arise. However, it is important for people to know that there is no threat against the mall and that these exercises are meant as a way to help us be prepared to respond to any kind of hazard.”