The Doña Ana County Sheriff's Department will host a class in Las Cruces May 14 and 15 on how to respond to the threat of an attack involving weapons of mass destruction.

The class, Community Involvement and Partnership Training on Managing Weapons of Mass Destruction Incidents, will be held at the Mesilla Valley Inn Best Western on Avenida de Mesilla. Residents and leaders from the business, faith, government and academic communities are invited to team up with local law enforcement agencies in addressing this global issue.

"Law enforcement agencies are working everyday to prevent terrorist attacks, Sheriff Juan Hernandez said. If one were to occur in our county, I know that education and preparation of residents, often our first responders, will greatly minimize the possible catastrophic losses."

The two-day class will consist of the following:

- Community Awareness: A brief overview of the current terrorist threat, to include biological, chemical and nuclear weapons of mass destruction.

- Community Resource Database: Participants will identify threats specific to the community and the resources necessary to minimize or prevent a WMD attack.

- Community Mobilization Plan: Partnership teams will be formed, dividing responsibilities for various functions, such as transportation and shelter.

- Desktop Exercise: Participants will be required to work through a scenario unique to their community as an incident-management team using the resource database to manage the incident until relieved by the proper authority.

- Action Planning: Participants will assess their performance, identify areas of needed improvement, make appropriate changes and set dates for continual training.

Anyone interested in attending the class can register by calling the Doña Ana County Sheriff's Department at 647-7700.

For more information, call Grant A. Taylor, assistant to the director of public information, at (505) 647-7290. Anyone calling from outside the Las Cruces area may call toll-free at 1-877-827-7200 and request extension 7290.