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DuPage County Sheriff

John E. Zaruba

PRESS RELEASE

Thursday, February 15, 2018

DuPage County Sheriff’s Office Conducts Full Scale Training Exercise at Fox Valley Mall

SOU

The DuPage County Sheriff’s Office conducted a full scale training exercise at the Fox Valley Mall in Aurora on February 11, 2018.  The training was conducted after hours while the mall was unoccupied.  The exercise involved two of the Sheriff’s Office emergency response units, the multi-jurisdictional Special Operations Unit (SOU) and the Hazardous Device Unit (HDU).  The exercise was designed to test and prepare both unit’s capabilities to navigate the constantly evolving global terror threat.

The training scenario revolved around two suspects armed with suicide vests and holding hostages, Improvised Explosive Devices (IED’s), and mobile platforms to deliver one or more of those devices.  Undersheriff Frank Bibbiano stated, “In today’s world where threats against our citizens come in many forms, this training was absolutely worthwhile with lessons learned to help prepare our deputies for real world incidents.”  Bibbiano added, “The Fox Valley Mall presents layers of tactical considerations for emergency response units to contend with and most importantly it prepares our deputies to keep the citizens of DuPage County safe.”

In an interview after the exercise the Special Operations Unit Commander stated, “We are aware that terror threats are real and constantly evolving and we need to be as prepared as we can be to deal with them head on.”

The Sheriff’s Office would like to thank the following people and agencies for their support of this training:  The Fox Valley Mall and all of its management and employees, specifically, Scott Samson, General Manager, and Robert Fox, PSC Security Director, whose dedication and professionalism helped to ensure this large scale training was a success.  We would also like to thank the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) and the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives (ATF) for their consultation and evaluation of the event.