FBI hosts mall attack training exercise in Conn.

State, local and federal authorities participated in a simulated attack scenario in Connecticut on Sunday.

The New Haven Division of the FBI, along with Connecticut State Police and the Trumbull Police Department, hosted the training event at the Westfield Trumbull Shopping Mall in Trumbull, Conn. They were joined by other first responders and law enforcement agencies.

"It is vitally important for us to continue to train with our local and federal partners, and this tactical training exercise afforded us that opportunity," Maj. Brian Meraviglia of the Connecticut State Police said."I wish to thank everyone involved in the extensive planning that went into putting on this most worthwhile endeavor."

"In this day and age, public safety is absolutely paramount, so having our department in on the latest training is beneficial to town residents," Trumbull Police Department Chief Thomas Kiely said.

The training was held overnight at the mall. The FBI said that "every effort" was made to avoid interfering with normal business hours.

The exercise was the final stage of the national Complex Mall Attack initiative, which the FBI began last year to stimulate discussion and cooperation about preparedness in the face of an attack. All FBI field offices hosted discussions in 2013 with public safety and other private organizations. A number of mall attack exercises have been held across the U.S.