TSA, AASHTO, Arizona agencies collaborate on training

Local Press Release
Tuesday, August 23, 2016

TUCSON, Ariz. – The Transportation Security Administration (TSA), in coordination with the American Association of State Highway and Transportation Officials (AASHTO) Special Committee on Transportation Security and Emergency Management (SCOTSEM), Arizona Department of Transportation, Northwest Fire District, and Pima County Sheriff’s Office, hosted an active shooter live drill sponsored by TSA’s Intermodal Security Training and Exercise Program (I-STEP) today, here.

The live drill, part of the AASHTO SCOTSEM annual meeting, is designed to increase SCOTSEM members’ understanding of law enforcement response (priorities, capabilities, actions) to an active shooter incident as well as how they can assist law enforcement during an active shooter response.

“I-STEP is a critical part of our efforts to enhance TSA’s collaboration with local and regional security partners,” said TSA Chief of Operations Gary Rasicot. “The program allows us to help surface transportation partners implement and evaluate their security plans, including prevention and preparedness capabilities, and their ability to respond to threats and cooperate with first responders.”

The AASHTO SCOTSEM annual meeting brings together state transportation officials from across the country to share best practices, network with their peers at a national level, and learn about new laws and regulations impacting their areas of responsibility.

The live drill provides state transportation officials with information they can take back to their respective departments of transportation across the country in order to educate their own employees and increase their organizational preparedness for such an incident.

Working in partnership with all transportation modes, TSA I-STEP enables security partners to:

  • Enhance security capabilities – Participate in and conduct exercises and training that strengthen security plans, test emergency procedures, and sharpen skills in incident management.
  • Build partnerships – Collaborate with modal partners, law enforcement personnel, first responders, health and medical professionals, government transportation and homeland security leaders, and industry representatives to address transportation security issues.
  • Gain insights in transportation security – Align program needs with federal grant opportunities, and gain a deeper understanding of lessons learned and best practices. I-STEP became required by law with the signing of the 9/11 Commission Act of 2007 and requires an exercise and training program for the mass transit, freight rail, and over-the-road bus modes.