Operation SCARLET ICE, which took place at Lakepoint State Park in Eufaula over the last four days is being hailed a success. The event was a statewide assessment of regional law enforcement teams and communications exercises.
Alabama Department of Homeland Security Director Spencer Collier said it was the first time Alabama had ever performed a full scale exercise to test first responders. Alabama is only the third state in the nation to have accomplished an exercise of this magnitude, he added.
Three fictional scenarios greeted participants in Operation SCARLET ICE, testing the seven regional law enforcement teams and one state law enforcement team. The exercise required each law enforcement team to travel to Eufaula and set up camp as they would have to do if a real life scenario were to happen.
The seven regional law enforcement teams and one state law enforcement team consisted of first responders from law enforcement, fire protection, and state agencies. In all, more than 200 people participated in the exercise.
Governor Bentley and Legislative Oversight Committee Chairman Representative Paul DeMarco attended on Wednesday to take part in the Operation. The two were briefed as this was a real event and then preceded from there to witness a water rescue.
"In an emergency, our first responders are critical," said Governor Robert Bentley. "Exercises like SCARLET ICE help train and educate our first responders so they are prepared when emergencies strike."
"Having all the different groups come together and work as one cohesive law enforcement team for the purpose of one goal was a big undertaking and each law enforcement team performed remarkably well. It was wonderful to see the professionalism and speed in which these law enforcement teams work. I am proud to say that our state is prepared to act if needed to," said Director Collier.
"I am extremely happy that Governor Bentley and our Oversight Committee Chairman Rep. Paul DeMarco attended as well. It was good for them to see the capabilities of these law enforcement teams and also for them to take such an active role in this exercise," said Director Collier.