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Homeland Security, Public Safety train to take on threats to community

Ohio Homeland Security and the Department of Public Safety conducted one of their biggest drills to date. (WSYX/WTTE)

Ohio Homeland Security and the Department of Public Safety conducted one of their biggest drills to date. The goal was to train law enforcement to take on growing threats to our community.

"In its scope and nature and scale it is one of the larger ones," said Ohio Homeland Security Director Rick Zwayer.

Teams from Ohio State Highway Patrol and more dealt with protesters. It's all part of a simulation. The fake protesters locked themselves to a sleeping dragon. It's a tool used often by protesters, making it difficult for officers to remove them.

The Department of Public Safety coordinated the training.

There was another simulated crime scene at the Ohio Fairgrounds. Teams practiced their responses in the case of a fellow officer being shot.

"The tactics and means in which terrorists conduct their attacks have changed. We have to be able to adapt and change as well," said Zwayer.

The timing is essential, especially with law enforcement seeing an increase in terror attacks.

"This should not be accepted as the norm," said Zwayer.

Plus, big summer events like the Columbus Pride Festival are drawing closer.

Columbus Police said they will have additional security at the festival, not because of a specific threat at this point, but because of the possibility of a threatening environment.

The teams out Tuesday hoped the public will get in on their efforts to stop these attacks.

"The more people out there, the more that they see and if you see something, say something," said Ohio State Highway Patrol Sgt. Tiffany Meeks.

If you do see something suspicious at a big event, or just day-to-day, you can report that by calling #677.

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