SLIDESHOW: Homeland Security Secretary attends massive 'active s - WDRB 41 Louisville News

SLIDESHOW: Homeland Security Secretary attends massive 'active shooter exercise' near Louisville's Slugger Field

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Police and SWAT teams gathered at the entrance of Slugger Field during an active shooter drill on March 9, 2016. Police and SWAT teams gathered at the entrance of Slugger Field during an active shooter drill on March 9, 2016.
Police in downtown Louisville blocked traffic during an active shooter drill on March 9, 2016. Police in downtown Louisville blocked traffic during an active shooter drill on March 9, 2016.
A victim of a simulated terrorist attack at Slugger Field said it was a "scary" situation. A victim of a simulated terrorist attack at Slugger Field said it was a "scary" situation.
A victim of a mock terrorist attack at Louisville's Slugger Field was carried to safety during a drill on March 9, 2016. A victim of a mock terrorist attack at Louisville's Slugger Field was carried to safety during a drill on March 9, 2016.

LOUISVILLE, Ky. (WDRB) -- A massive active shooter drill in downtown Louisville involved hundreds of members of law enforcement and emergency responders and was observed by the Department of Homeland Security. 

The exercise started around 9 a.m. Wednesday, with a staging area set up near Slugger Field, between the intersection of Main Street and E. Witherspoon Street, and the intersection of Preston Street and Jackson Street.

One scenario during Wednesday's exercise involved police and SWAT teams storming Slugger Field after an apparent terrorist attack. Participants included people posing as injured civilians, sometimes covered in simulated blood. The idea was to make the exercise as realistic as possible. 

"There's guns and stuff flying -- and I don't know, it was just scary," said one participant. 

Meanwhile, another scenario involving explosives on a barge unfolded at the waterfront. 

Hundreds of local police, EMS and fire officials, along with members of the Coast Guard, the FBI and other agencies, took part in the training. During the exercise, "simunitions" (blanks) were used to simulate weapons and bombs. 

The exercise is designed to test and train local emergency workers on how to respond to the worst.

"At the end of the day, we're trying to find out how well we are prepared to handle these incidents, what our strengths are, what our weaknesses are, and go from there so that if this were to occur in our city we are as prepared as we can be," said Capt. Sal Melendez with Louisville Fire & Rescue. 

The U.S. Department of Homeland security is evaluating the active shooter training. Secretary Jeh Johnson watched in person, calling this type of large scale exercise vital to national security. 

"Given the way that the global terrorist threat is evolving, it is the cop on the beat who may be the first to detect a terrorist attack on the United States," Johnson said.

The drill comes as the city heads into its heaviest tourist season -- Thunder and Derby. 

Although we don't know how well the city did during Wednesday's drill, Secretary Johnson did have this to say: "I am pleased and impressed with the interoperability that I've seen."

The exercise started at 9 a.m. and was expected to continue until at least 5 p.m. 

Copyright 2016 by WDRB News. All rights reserved.

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