By Josh Hafemeister
Virginia Tech, Washington Naval Yard, Westgate Mall in Kenya and Sandy Hook Elementary School are all names students and faculty around the world are familiar with.
Students and faculty of UW-Whitewater must educate themselves and be prepared in the event of a school shooting.
Violent shootings at these locations have led to the deaths of more than 100 people, and more shootings happen than many people are aware of.
In times like these, people must ask themselves if they know what to do should such a situation happen.
According to Matthew Kiederlen, police chief of the UW-Whitewater Police Services Department, UW-Whitewater is as prepared as it can be for an active shooter. There are emergency warnings in place and an emergency website for people to access to know what is going on.
The police of UW-Whitewater Police Services Department train with the City of Whitewater Police Department, sharing tactics and weaponry in order to prepare for the worst.
The issue is whether students and faculty know what to do in such an event. Seminars, training and the program “Shots Fired” are offered to students and faculty at any time of the year.
These seminars and programs discuss everything revolving around an active shooter on campus, including what to do when the Shelter in Place Warning goes off.
Yet, too few people participate in these programs.
Shootings happen more often than many think, but the world only hears about shootings with dozens of victims. There are many more shootings where there are only two or three victims.
Everyone on campus should ensure that they know what to do in the event of an active shooter. Students or faulty who are interested in scheduling a time to attend a training seminar can e-mail [email protected]
“If someone’s just curious, call up and ask,” Kiederlen said. “We’re happy to give you those resources.”
The UW-Whitewater police strive to make the information as accessible to students as possible.
RAs, sports teams and student organization leaders should schedule a time for their students to attend one of these programs.
Teachers should take time out of their scheduled class period to invite a member of the department to speak to the class.
Even on-campus businesses and should make time for their employees to attend a training seminar.
The UW-Whitewater Police Services Department website, uwwpolice.org, provides information, not just for active shooters on campus, but other events such as tornadoes, elevator malfunctions, bomb threats and more.
Knowledge is power, as the saying goes. In this case, knowledge can give students and faculty the power to stay alive or help others stay alive.
The reality is shootings on campus are never going away.
Since 1992, there have been 387 shootings in the U.S., according to the website stoptheshootings.org.
More than 50 of those shootings have taken place in the Midwest, though few were fatal.
Wisconsin has had four school shootings with four fatalities since 1993.
Contact the UW-Whitewater police, set up a class, go online to uwwpolice.org and research information about active shooters.
What students and faculty do now to prepare for such a horrifying event can save their lives, or the lives of their friends and family in the future.