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Westchester Counter-Terrorism Exercise Praised

IRVINGTON, N.Y. ? A recent exercise to test responses to potential terrorist threats and suspicious activities in Westchester and Putnam counties was pronounced a success by Irvington Police Chief Michael Cerone.

“We did test several capabilities in regards to communications, response times and overall investigative skills of [New York State] Counter-Terrorism Zone 3,” said Cerone, who is chair of Zone 3, which takes in Westchester and Putnam.

Cerone said two teams of law enforcement officers conducted the operation between Sept. 17 and 28. A red team participated in role-playing activities where they went out to specific businesses and acted like they were potential terrorists or other criminals, Cerone said. A blue team acted as a safety team and oversaw the red team's exercise.

“When you do these exercises, you're looking to test your response and your resources and your capabilities,” Cerone said. “It's more or less like setting up role-playing with the public to address various scenarios.”

The goal of the exercise was to test law enforcement skills and Operation Safeguard, the state's public outreach program to report suspicious activity.

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