Naperville and Aurora Participating in Joint Counterterrorism Awareness Workshop June 19-20

First responders in Aurora and Naperville will join together with others from their communities to attend a two-day Joint Counterterrorism Awareness Workshop June 19 and 20 in Naperville. This training series, sponsored by the National Counterterrorism Center (NCTC), U.S. Department of Homeland Security (DHS) and the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI), is a nationwide initiative designed to improve the ability of local jurisdictions to prepare for, protect against and respond to complex terrorist attacks.

“As the fourth largest city in Illinois, and only 30 miles from one of the largest cities in the entire country, Naperville and its neighbors must always stand prepared for the realities of the world in this day and age,” Naperville Mayor Steve Chirico said. “Preparedness and partnerships are critical to facing challenges head on, and the ability to join with our neighbors in Aurora and work together on issues that could easily impact us both due to geography is essential.”

The Joint Counterterrorism Awareness Workshop series is held in cities across the U.S. and brings together federal, state and local participants to address the threat of complex terrorist attacks, which are defined as a coordinated assault on one or more locations in close succession; initiated after little or no warning; and employing one or more firearms, explosives, or arson.

This workshop follows on the heels of a $1.3 million anti-terrorism grant that was awarded in 2017 to both Naperville and Aurora to help coordinate training, planning and exercises to enhance the response in the event of a complex coordinated terrorist attack such as those that have occurred in Paris, Boston, San Bernardino and other cities across the globe.

“There is strength in collaboration,” said Aurora Mayor Richard C. Irvin. “When we can work together on critical issues, both of our municipalities and all of our residents benefit. Aurora and Naperville not only share a common border, we share common interests - and the safety of our communities is at the top of that list. The days of operating in silos are over, and our entire region is better and stronger because of it.”

Next week’s workshop is designed to focus on the response and approach to incidents that might be faced in an urban setting. The workshop underscores the need for a whole community response and aims to:

  • Review existing preparedness, response and interdiction plans, policies, and procedures related to a complex terrorist attack;
  • Identify gaps in plans, operational capabilities, response resources and authorities;
  • Identify federal, state, and local resources – including grants, training, exercises and technical assistance – available to address potential gaps in capabilities;
  • Improve situational awareness, recognize best practices and encourage information sharing among all stakeholders in the event of a complex terrorist attack;
  • Examine healthcare system and clinical challenges unique to a complex terrorist attack employing small arms and explosives;
  • Examine the roles of the community and bystanders in a complex terrorist attack;
  • Discuss a framework for immediate medical management of wounded in, or near, an attack site; and
  • Identify and share best practices and lessons learned from case studies in medical preparedness.

After the workshop, Naperville and Aurora will receive a summary report that highlights shortfalls and best practices of the two communities and that offers potential mitigation strategies and resources to address identified gaps. The NCTC will deliver the report, with local FBI and DHS representatives providing their information about existing resources to assist the communities.

Media Availability on June 19

The workshop is not open to the media due to the sensitive nature of the material discussed. A media availability will take place as follows:

Tuesday, June 19
8:30 a.m.
Lobby of the Embassy Suites, 1823 Abriter Court, Naperville

Please arrive at 7:30 a.m. The media is welcome to view the 8 a.m. opening remarks by Mayors Chirico and Irvin and others. Immediately following the opening remarks (8:30 a.m.) the following individuals will be available in the lobby until 8:45 a.m. to take questions from the media:

Naperville Mayor Steve Chirico
Aurora Mayor Richard Irvin
Naperville Police Chief Robert Marshall
Naperville Fire Chief Mark Puknaitis
Aurora Police Chief Kristen Ziman
Aurora Fire Chief Gary Krienitz

About Naperville: Located 28 miles west of Chicago, Naperville, Ill., is home to approximately 145,000 people. This vibrant, thriving city consistently ranks as a top community in the nation in which to live, raise children and retire. The city is home to acclaimed public and parochial schools, the best public library system in the country, an array of healthcare options and an exceptionally low crime rate. Naperville has ready access to a variety of public transportation, housing and employment options. The city’s diversified employer base features high technology firms, retailers and factories, as well as small and home-based businesses. Residents also enjoy world-class parks, diverse worship options, the opportunity to serve on several City boards and commissions, a thriving downtown shopping and dining area, a renowned outdoor history museum known as Naper Settlement and an active civic community. For more information, please visit our website at