The Jersey City Department of Public Safety held two realistic active shooter training sessions at the City Hall Annex on Saturday.
Simulations feature law enforcement and community members acting as real victims with first responders putting their training to the test.
Jersey City Mayor Fulop said the city holds the drills at least three times a year with an outside company with military and police experience.
Saturday’s drills were scheduled before the mass shooting in New York.
“They will design a scenario based on real events that happened in other parts of the country, the scenario will start, they have already made sure that our officers do not have real weapons with the training exercises “explained Jersey City Public Safety Director Jim Shea.
Fulop said the exercises are a life-saving investment.
“The training we do here helps us coordinate with fire, with EMS, with community communications, with schools, because at the end of the day, practice is the only thing that will save lives in these situations,” said said Fulop.
The elected officials and community leaders who joined Fulop all agreed on the need for the drills as mass shootings escalate across the country.
In December 2019, a mass shooting took place in Jersey City when two people opened fire at a kosher grocery store.
In the case of the Buffalo shooting, the suspect had listed towns in New Jersey 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 almost on a daily basis. What we have done since then is an increased presence, especially in the southern part of the community, primarily in the African American neighborhoods of the city because we want that people feel safe. There’s no active threat against Jersey City,” Fulop said.
Fulop added that the city alerts its residents when they hold drills and community members are encouraged to participate so they know how to react if they ever encounter active shooter.