Police train to handle gun violence

June 06, 2012

PoliceSWAT teams, law enforcement officers, ROTC cadets, federal agents, EMTs, and more will be engaging in realistic tactical missions at the University of Wisconsin-Whitewater.

The event, June 9-10, is designed to train law enforcement in some of the most dangerous and frightening emergency situations they could ever encounter - active shooters on campus.

"Scenarios will include hostage rescue, school bus clearing, casualty treatment, evacuation under fire, and many other real world exercises," said Andy Rasico, product manager at irTactical, a division of Universal Electronics. The company manufacturers electronics in medicine, military, agriculture, industry and science, and is organizing the UW-Whitewater event.

"Criminology students from Wisconsin and Illinois will be participating as hostages and bystanders," Rasico said. "Emergency medical technicians will evaluate and treat simulated casualties as participating teams protect them."

All of this will take place in the hallways, stairwells and classrooms of Timothy J. Hyland Hall and other campus locations.

Law enforcement equipment from several high-tech companies will be used to accomplish individual scenarios and help provide a more realistic training experience.

"Think of it as very sophisticated laser tag," said Matt Kiederlen, UW-Whitewater police chief. "The weapons resemble AR 15 rifles and Glock handguns, and even the recoil feels authentic. Participants wear vests with a shocking module that is activated when someone gets 'hit.'"

Kiederlen said these training tools are better than other items such as paintball guns because they don't leave a mess or use gunpowder as a propellant.

By having the event on a university campus using realistic equipment, participants will get training that mimics real-world situations, Kiederlen said.

Classes and interactive discussions will also take place throughout the weekend. About 125 people from dozens of regional police departments are expected to attend.

This event is not open to the public. Starin Road will be closed June 9-10 between Prince and Prairie streets. People may hear "popping" sounds used to simulate gunfire, and may see officers hurrying about Hyland Hall in emergency gear.


Sara Kuhl

Jeff Angileri