An active shooter training drill will be held Sunday morning in Palm Desert to test the preparedness of law enforcement and medical response teams, the Riverside County Sheriff’s and Fire Department announced Friday.

The drill, to be held at the Westfield Mall, will simulate a mass casualty and multi-agency response, with volunteers acting as injured victims and bystanders.

The Riverside County Sheriff’s and Fire departments, along with other local law enforcement and fire agencies, private industry and the healthcare system, will take part.

“We need to prepare in all situations,” said Riverside County sheriff’s Deputy Mike Vasquez, who noted that malls and other public gathering places are often targets of mass shooters. “[The drill also] offers the ability to have a collaborative effort with all agencies.”

Vasquez encourages people to avoid going to the mall during the drill, which will begin at 7 a.m. and is scheduled to last until 11 a.m.

Several emergency vehicles may be grouped together or traveling from the mall to nearby hospitals, and signs will be posted to remind the public that the drill is part of a training exercise.

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