Given the anti-police demonstrations held in Ferguson, Mo., and Baltimore, Urban Shield has gained importance as a comprehensive, full-scale means of assessing and testing the Bay Area's response capabilities related to quick and effective response to critical events and incidents in our area.
The overarching goals of Urban Shield include striving for the capability to present a multi-layered training exercise to enhance the skills and abilities of regional first responders, as well as those responsible for coordinating and managing large-scale events.
Urban Shield is implemented to identify and stretch regional resources to their limits, while expanding regional collaboration and building positive relationships. In addition, this exercise provides increased local business and critical infrastructure collaboration.
Urban Shield challenges the skills, knowledge and abilities of all who participate. It not only improves regional disaster response capabilities, but provides a platform for national and international first responders, as well as the private sector, to work efficiently and effectively together when critical incidents occur. It helps coordinate policing with tools and tactics that can quell disturbances such as those in Ferguson and Baltimore before they get out of hand and endanger the local community.
Established by Congress to enhance catastrophic preparedness in selected high-risk urban areas with an emphasis on regional planning, Urban Shield can help make sure that our first responders are ready for a coordinated response with the needed resources in the event of a major disturbance, whether it be an area-wide earthquake, storm, terrorist attack or riot.
More than 5,000 are expected at next weekend's Urban Shield, an event now in its eighth year. The agenda includes analyzing regional catastrophic plans, bomb prevention, multi-jurisdictional security planning, nuclear threat devices and how easily they might be smuggled into the U.S., large-scale event planning, including preparing for Super Bowl 50 next year in Santa Clara, and a review of the Aurora, Colo. theater massacre by members of the Aurora Police Department.
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