Officers train for scenarios following Sikh Temple shooting

PEWAUKEE -- First responders and other law enforcement officers train every day to keep the public safe. At the Waukesha County Technical College Monday, September 17th, a dozen officers from agencies across southeast Wisconsin got a refresher course on how to put down an active shooter, on the heels of August's Sikh Temple shooting.

“I can't emphasize training, training, training.  They come to us with various levels of experience and it's our job to elevate their training,” Brian Dorow, Dean of the Criminal Justice Program at WCTC said.

During training, officers responded to three different scenarios.  One involved a resisting suspect. Officers learned how to apprehend and handcuff that suspect.

“It’s what we call diminishing skill sets.  If you don't practice them, you may not be as sharp as when you have to do it,” Dorow said.

Another scenario involved clearing a staircase where a suspect may have been hiding.

“There's a skill set as well as a technique to clearing a staircase. We call that metering,” Dorow said.

The most relevant of the three scenarios in light of the Sikh Temple shooting was an ambush situation.  Dorow said it's more important than ever to train for situations that mirror the Sikh Temple shooting, so it becomes second nature.  Dorow stressed that in a situation like Oak Creek's shooting, every move and every second counts.

“What we're putting the officers in is the most realistic situation, so that their heart rate is elevated.  They're processing it like it could happen anywhere else. It makes them so much better when they're out on the street," Dorow said.

This training is part of a rotating 17-week training.  By the end of it, instructors will have trained close to 3,000 officers throughout southeast Wisconsin.