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PHILADELPHIA (CBS) — Philadelphia Police swarmed Center City, preparing for disaster. This time, the circumstances were made up but the consequences are all too real.

One day after the anniversary of the September 11th terrorist attacks, Philadelphia police are making sure they are ready to handle a crisis. Officers held a rapid response drill, in the name of safety.

Inspector L.B. Rebstock with the Philadelphia Police Department’s Homeland Security Unit explained, “With the anniversary of 9/11, the transportation system threats and things like that, it’s a good time for us to practice.”

It’s a practice that became a part of their routine since September 11, 2001.

Rebstock said, “The creation of Homeland Security Bureau was done after 2001.”

As were the rapid response drills. The way they train with local and federal counter parts have also been modified and their communication system improved. Their mission, however, remains unchanged: Serve and protect at all times.

Rebstock added, “Be vigilant, look for the things they’re trained to look for, anything suspicious, take whatever action that is necessary.”

Long after the drill was completed, alert officers did just that. Officers out on patrol spotted an unattended briefcase at 7th and Market Streets. It was a false alarm.

Police say, better safe than sorry, urging the public to always be on guard — and if you” See it. Report it.”

Kim Lewis of Germantown and Lissa Morinsky of Queen Village are on board.

Lewis said, “If I do see something suspicious, that’s a little off guard, I would notice it.”

Morinsky added, “It’s the public’s duty to. No one can do everything on their own. It’s up to all of us.”

Police do note, at this time, there is no threat or emergency to Philadelphia. This was a pre-planned drill, one of several they conduct annually.

Reported by Elizabeth Hur, CBS 3

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