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Home / Santa Monica Fire Department

Santa Monica Pier to close for police, fire training

Santa Monica police and firefighters already spent some well-publicized hours on the Santa Monica Pier this week when a man scaled the Ferris wheel while allegedly claiming to have a bomb, but they’ll return to the renowned tourist destination Thursday for a training exercise.

According to the Santa Monica Police Department, officers and firefighters will be conducting a joint exercise on the pier from 6 a.m. to noon Thursday “to train our first responders and test their response to high-risk, complex, events involving multiple agencies.”

The pier will be closed to visitors during the exercise, which will include the use of “simunitions” and smoke to make the drill “look and sound real.”

“Combined with the help of volunteer actors from the community, we aim to make this training as realistic as possible to further prepare our personnel in the event of an actual active threat,” police said in a statement.

Signs will be placed in the area to alert passersby that the events are only a drill.

Police stressed that the training exercise has been scheduled since May, and it is not being done in response to Monday’s incident in which a man carrying a backpack scaled the pier’s Ferris wheel while allegedly claiming to be carrying an explosive device.

The man’s actions prompted an evacuation of the pier as police talked the man down and firefighters worked to rescue riders on the stopped wheel. The man eventually climbed off the Ferris wheel and was taken into custody, and no bomb was found.

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