Cops train in harbor to protect port from terrorists

CHARLESTON, SC (WCSC) - Police boats with blue lights on and sirens blaring were a common sight Thursday afternoon in Charleston Harbor.

It was a training exercise designed to help law enforcement agencies learn to work together to protect the port.

"Unfortunately 9-11 changed a lot of things for a lot of people and it made a lot of people realize it's going to take a lot of players to do a lot of jobs," said Jay Chesser who is the lead instructor for the training exercise.

"With this training, it basically gives the guys around here a playbook if you will. They have the equipment, now they have the playbook."

Chesser said the seven participating agencies are learning to work as a team.

"It gives them more people in the water because not one agency is gonna be able to do the job if something bad happens," he said.

The officers and deputies practice a pursuit known as a layered defense.

"If you get by one, there's a second boat ready to take on the threat," Chesser explained.

"We have to stay prepared and stay one step ahead of the enemy," said Charleston County Police Sgt. Andrew Fitch, who's participating in the five days of training.

The training was paid for through a recently obtained port security grant.

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