Chancellor Richard Telfer will be held captive in a simulated hostage situation in June.
UW-Whitewater will host the largest police training event in the world. irTactical Active Shooter Training will take place on campus June 8-10.
irTactical is a manufacturing company in Whitewater that makes training equipment for police and military personnel. This is its first time putting on the training event.
“Two hundred officers training at once has never been done before, especially inside a $45 million building,” irTactical Product Manager Andrew Rasico said.
UW-Whitewater ROTC has already used irTactical equipment in a simulated training event.
The National Tactical Officers Association will provide training with the help of local police officers at the training event. Future police officers from all over Wisconsin will be attending the event.
“There are 12 different exercises, ranging from school bus rescue, to a shooter in a classroom, to multiple shooters in a lecture hall,” Rasico said.
Guns and equipment that look and feel like real weapons and combat gear were designed by irTactical to use for training. The guns are designed to simulate the recoil of a real weapon, while the vests each officer wears will emit a small electric shock when hit.
Students from Southern Illinois University will also be attending the training event to act as hostages. The trainers will tell the hostages what the situation is, what their wound will be and will sometimes tell the actors how and when to scream.
“[The trainers will] make it realistic to the officers, but behind the scenes the actors will all know that it’s staged and they’ll be acting 99 percent how a hostage would really act,” Rasico said.
irTactical is still looking for students to participate at the event. Rasico said there is still a chance for students who want acting experience to get involved.
Rasico said UW-Whitewater was very open to hosting the event and offered to use Hyland Hall.
“A lot of people from campus are becoming involved,” Rasico said.
Campus Police Chief Matt Kiederlen is working with irTactical to plan the event.
Kiederlen said there has been great cooperation between the campus, city police and other agencies attending the event. His staff has also been helpful and happy to get involved.
“The irTactical system is state of the art in our world when you look at training capabilities,” Kiederlen said. “It utilizes real weapons systems that officers actually use.”
UW-Whitewater was a convenient location for the event because it is close to the manufacturer, but Kiederlen said the campus also has a good environment for this type of event.
“UW-Whitewater has great potential as a training ground,” Kiederlen said. “We’re kind of out in the middle of nowhere, there’s enough to keep people entertained, but not enough to cause issue.”
The training event will be restricted to Wisconsin police departments this year, but Rasico said irTactical hopes to make it an annual nation-wide event.