Local Authorities Prepare for Life and Death Situations - 8 News NOW

Local Authorities Prepare for Life and Death Situations

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LAS VEGAS - Local authorities need to always be prepared for incidents such as the plant explosion in Texas or bombings in Boston. Thursday morning, police held training exercises to prepare for when disaster strikes.

Police turned the Las Vegas Premium Outlets Mall near Grand Central Parkway and Charleston Boulevard into a training ground late Wednesday night. The exercise ran through early Thursday morning.

The simulation involved an attack in which armed gunmen took over the shopping center with innocent people still inside.

Law enforcement and emergency agencies - including Metro Police, Nevada Highway Patrol and local fire departments - had to respond, catch the suspects and safely bring out the innocent victims.

Officials say the realistic portrayal of a life and death situation helps prepare first responders for the real thing.

"Our goal tonight is to make mistakes, push ourselves, define what our weaknesses are, make our mistakes in training, fix problems. If, God forbid, this happens for real, we will be better prepared to deal with the situation," said Metro Police Officer Bill Cassell.

This training is developed under the principle called MACTAC, which stands for Multi Assault Counter Terrorism Capabilities. It came into place after the terrorist attack in Mumbai, India in 2009. Officials say a similar attack could happen anywhere, especially in Las Vegas where millions of tourists from around the world visit every year.

The Las Vegas Premium Outlets Mall wasn't the only location hosting a simulated attack Thursday morning. Authorities also held a simulation at Town Square near Las Vegas Boulevard and I-215.

Authorities say they hold the intense training exercises several times a year.

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