Mock Protest Training Exercise Held Downtown
SALT LAKE CITY, Utah – Police and other first responders conducted a mock protest in downtown Salt Lake City to help officers gain valuable experience in the event something actually did happen in the city.
There were major streets shut down, violent protestors and a large police response as emergency responders participated in a training exercise Thursday night.
“This is a large-scale training event,” said Detective Greg Wilkings with the Salt Lake City Police Department. “Hopefully, if we’ve had mistakes they’ve been made in the training process, and when we get out there we execute the plan to perfection.”
Nearly 140 people played the roles of protestors and injured victims. The training exercise closed parts of West Temple and 200 South near the Salt Palace.
Det. Wilkings said with the 68th United Nations Civil Society Conference coming to town August 26-28, this drill could not have happened at a better time.
“We’ve seen some recent protests,” Det. Wilkings said. “Salt Lake is growing and we’re attracting large events and a lot of national and international attention so we have to be prepared for that.”
Bystanders who did not know the large scene was a drill were caught off guard.
“When I heard the screaming I got emotional,” Gomeo Bobelu said. “With the weight of the world today, you never know.”
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