UW-Madison Police Department held its first Active Shooter Response training session Wednesday that taught students, faculty and staff what to do if a mass shooting were to occur on campus.
The free training course included a video featuring simulations of a shooting attack, which is accompanied with tips from experienced law enforcement trainers at UWPD. They will hold several more sessions throughout the academic year.
According to UWPD spokesperson Marc Lovicott, the police force has had Active Shooter Response trainings for a long time. Former UWPD Chief Sue Riseling focused on educating officers and civilians about safety in these situations, especially following the Virginia Tech shooting in 2007.
“We feel as if we've always been really prepared and we always have what we need,” Lovicott said.
According to Lovicott, this is UWPD’s way of keeping the community aware of how to react in these situations and provide advice for surviving in a life-threatening situation. He said campus needed trainings like this.
“We heard from a number of campus groups who enjoyed the video but also wanted some one-on-one or group training,” Lovicott said. “We heard that, and we understood the need. When you look at some of the events that happen around our country we can understand why folks are concerned and want to know more about what they can do to keep themselves safe.”
The program has expanded to include these group trainings, which they can bring to individuals or groups who request them. He said UWPD is responding to the needs they have heard from people who cannot make it to the meeting but want the same training.
Lovicott said the police department believes it is unlikely that anyone will need to use these trainings, and hopes that they do not.
“People understandably get upset and concerned when they hear about things like this,” Lovicott said. “We try to tell people that this is training that we hope that they’ll never need, but it’s training that might not be a bad idea to take especially when you look at events that have happened around the world, especially in schools.”