Officers descend on Port of Tacoma for counter-terrorism training exercises

Updated:

TACOMA, Wash. - Officers descended on the Port of Tacoma Friday for counter-terrorism training exercises involving simulated explosives.

 Local, state and federal agencies participated in two scenarios along the Blair Waterway in which simulated improvised explosive devices were found and disposed of.

 The training exercise looked like the real thing as a simulated radioactive bomb was found packed in a cooler at the Port of Tacoma.

 Officials secured the port and evacuated the area.

 Instead of immediately going in themselves, they sent in a robot.

 The robot came out and dropped off a black device with a camera inside, allowing officers about  100 yards away to take a close look at the cooler without physically coming close to it.

 Bomb experts finally approached the cooler carefully and disposed of the bomb.

 Officers will be debriefed about what they learned and what needs improvement.

 One thing they said always comes up is communication among all the law enforcement agencies.

 Law enforcement officials from nearly two dozen agencies were part of the exercise.  Training for that type of scenario occurs four times a year.

 The port handles 1.7 million containers a year, both imports and exports, and a device could be hidden inside one.

 The Port of Tacoma is one of the largest container ports in North America.