Security officers involved in dealing with major terror attacks overseas share experiences with local officials

The site of the Route 91 music festival mass shooting, in Las Vegas, on Oct 2, 2017. A Las Vegas Metropolitan Police Department officer who helped deal with the shooting incident was one of the speakers.
The site of the Route 91 music festival mass shooting, in Las Vegas, on Oct 2, 2017. A Las Vegas Metropolitan Police Department officer who helped deal with the shooting incident was one of the speakers.PHOTO: REUTERS

SINGAPORE - Singapore's senior security officials this week had the chance to learn from three senior law enforcement officials who were involved in dealing with three major terror attacks - last year's mass shooting in Las Vegas, the truck attack in Nice in 2016, and the hostage crisis in Sydney in 2014.

The three officials were among seven speakers at an inaugural programme co-organised by Singapore's Home Team Academy (HTA) and the United State's Federal Law Enforcement Training Centers (Fletc), the training academy for US law enforcement agencies.

The three-day programme, which ended on Thursday (Sept 6), focused on crisis management of terror attacks with mass casualties, said an HTA statement.

Called the International Programme on Crisis Leadership, it involved group discussions and lectures, during which participants discussed and learnt about best practices in crisis management of terror attacks with mass casualties.

A total of 15 senior level officials from 10 countries participated in the programme.

This comes amid an uncertain global security climate, where acts of violence resulting in mass casualties have occurred in several countries, said the statement.

"Having a diversity of officers is a good feature and key strength of this programme. The diversity provides opportunities for sharing of best practices, and building cross-boundary relationships that you can tap on in your future work," said Mr T. Raja Kumar, chief executive of HTA and deputy secretary (International and Training) at the Ministry of Home Affairs.

Highlights of the programme include sharing sessions by three senior officials who were involved in major terror attacks that made international headlines.

 

Participants got to hear from deputy chief Christopher Jones of the Las Vegas Metropolitan Police Department, who helped deal with last October's shooting incident in Las Vegas.

In what is widely regarded as one of the deadliest mass shootings in the United States, a gunman opened fire on concertgoers, killing at least 58 people and injuring more than 500.

Workshop participants also took part in panel discussions with the officials involved in the terror attack in Nice in July 2016 when a truck driver deliberately ploughed into crowds celebrating Bastille Day; and the Sydney hostage crisis in December 2014, where a gunman held almost20 people hostage in a Lindt chocolate cafe in Australia.

"I find it enriching to hear the accounts from the police commanders who were at the front line during the crises," said assistant commissioner of police Lee Su Peng, who was one of the participants.

HTA hopes to continue running this programme in future.

One international programme to be organised by HTA is the Phoenix International Programme, which will focus on global security challenges and public safety and security threats.

This will be held in March next year.