Training together

UWL Police officers and the La Crosse Emergency Response team train together one day over summer break.

UWL police train for emergency situations with La Crosse Police Dept.

The UWL Police Department took advantage of empty buildings during the summer break. The officers teamed up with La Crosse Police’s Emergency Response Team to simulate two active shooter situations on campus.

“It’s so important to have those relationships,” says Chris Schuster, UWL Police detective. “Giving our officers the opportunity to meet and greet their officers, especially those on the same shift, we hope it can build opportunities for collaboration.”

The simulations brought officers to Cartwright Center, the former student center, then to Hutchison Hall, a residence hall. The situations allowed both departments to practice their techniques separately and together.

“The La Crosse Police are hardly ever here and some of these buildings can get confusing,” says Schuster. “Just ask any of the incoming freshmen during their first week of class.”

Annual training like this is required for the department to maintain certification. Schuster hopes the exercises can grow every year, possibly including other emergency services, such as the fire department and the local medical centers.

The trained police department is one of the reasons UWL was again recognized nationally as a safe campus. The list ranked UWL as the only Wisconsin school in the top 25.