UW-Milwaukee officers trained to ‘get in and stop the threat’ in active shooter scenarios

MILWAUKEE -- Wisconsin's largest urban university is the University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee. Like many other campuses across the country,  UWM has an armed police force -- and follow a standardized response using techniques recommended by the FBI.

"All of our officers are alert trained in the advanced law enforcement rapid response training," said Officer Craig Rafferty. "The main response is to get in and stop the threat and save lives."

Officer Craig Rafferty

The UW-Milwaukee police force is responsible for the safety of more than 30,000 students and staff. Rafferty is also an active shooter instructor, training a force to prevent and respond to threats on campus. He said response time is key.

"Usually for our main campus, most academic buildings, it's less than a minute. Our police department is located right here on campus," Rafferty said.

In addition to responding to a threat, UWM police just as quickly reach out to those on campus.

University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee

"In those emergency type situations or life threatening situations, our dispatch center is equipped to rapidly send out those safe alert messages," Rafferty said.

Sophomore Emily Ruder said campus police are highly visible and regularly reach out to students and families.

University of Wisconsin-Milwuakee Police Department

"They do a lot of programs. They do a lot of self-defense courses," Ruder said.

Officer Rafferty said that is probably unique to campus police.

University of Wisconsin-Milwuakee Police Department

"But we also want to make sure our students are successful while they are here," Rafferty said.

In an emergency, students and staff at UWM are urged to call the UWM Police Department at 9911 if on a campus phone or 414-229-9911 if using cell or off campus phone. Also. SAFE Student Campus Safety Patrols are available beginning at 6 p.m. daily to provide walking escorts to and from campus. Request SAFE through UWM Police at 414-229-4627.