A closer look at local police policy for active shooter situations following Uvalde, Texas tragedy

FITCHBURG, Wis. — As the country continues to learn in real-time the details of what happened in Uvalde, Texas; Fitchburg Police Lieutenant Edward Hartwick can’t help but think what if?

“As parents, as spouses of educators, we are also thinking of what that might be like responding to a similar incident here,” he said.

Hartwick is in charge of preparing the Fitchburg community for an active shooter situation.

He’s also an expert on how his force is trained to respond.

“Our first and number one priority as law enforcement is to stop that threat and we will move in with whatever resources we have available and address the threat,” Hartwick said.

It turns out Fitchburg police are not alone.

The Madison Police Department lists its top priority during an active shooter situation as being to “prevent the loss of life.”

Middleton police list their first priority as being to “neutralize the threat.”

Hartwick was quick to point out that regardless of how many hours you train, nothing can compare to the real-life pressure.

“There is no amount of training that can replicate how chaotic and hectic these situations can be. The emotions involved, it’s really hard to train to,” he said.

However, he added it’s important to learn as an officer how to best prepare for this kind of situation that the county knows far too well.

“Any time we hear of a mass shooter type of situation, it always brings to the surface what we consider a worst scenario type call,” he said.