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Suffolk County police practice active shooter drill on Port Jefferson-Bridgeport ferry

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J.D. Allen
/
WSHU
Suffolk County police run active shooter drill on Port Jefferson-Bridgeport ferry

On Long Island, Suffolk County police officers conducted a large-scale active shooter drill on Wednesday at the Bridgeport-Port Jefferson ferry.

Members of the Coast Guard alongside ferry operators and crew members teamed up with about 100 Suffolk police officers for an active shooter exercise — on the ferry and at the terminal in Port Jefferson.

Suffolk County Police Commissioner Rodney Harrison said there’s no credible threat against the ferry, but the force needs to be prepared to respond anywhere.

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J.D. Allen
/
WSHU
Suffolk County Police Commissioner Rodney Harrison

“We could be the first responding or another agency may be the first responding," Harrison said at the terminal in Port Jefferson. "So it's important that we work as a team: we know how to stop the threat, we know how to rescue people, everybody understands what needs to be done if something does occur.”

Harrison said Wednesday's exercise is the seventh active shooter drill the department has participated in this year, including prior exercises at schools, supermarkets and hospitals.

“The key thing is that we get to meet the people we will be interacting with in the event of a real situation," said Fred Hall, general manager of the Bridgeport & Port Jefferson Steamboat Company. "We meet the people, we get to know them, we know a little bit more about each other, all very helpful when the real situation occurs.”

Last month, authorities charged a Connecticut man for making a bomb threat against the ferry terminal in Bridgeport.

Desiree reports on the lives of military service members, veterans, and their families for WSHU as part of the American Homefront project. Born and raised in Connecticut, she now calls Long Island home.
A native Long Islander, J.D. is WSHU's managing editor. He also hosts the climate podcast Higher Ground. J.D. reports for public radio stations across the Northeast, is a journalism educator and proud SPJ member.