Colo. shooting motivates cadets to join police force

Police, doctors train for emergency situations

Madison police said the Aurora, Colo., movie theater shooting Friday is providing future policemen and policewomen with even more motivation to join the force.

The Colorado headlines became classroom conversation at a recruit training at Madison College.

It’s hard to say if pepper spray, a multiple choice test, or a gun at their side can really prepare these students for a situation like the one in Aurora, but Cadet Joshua Shamrowicz in the front row said he’s more excited than ever to earn his badge.

“It just makes me happy that I made the right decision because, like I said, you never know what you’re getting into,” Shamrowicz said.

Instructor Brian Schneider, a lieutenant with the Department of Military Affairs, has come face to face with a gunman before and is confident in his students’ abilities.

“They are determined and they have taken ownership in this career,” Schnieder said.

The 13 weeks of training are just the start for a group eager to protect the community from anything.

“We always plan for the worst. We always think about the worst,” Shamrowicz said. “I mean, that’s what we do. We do it for the worst.”

In light of the Aurora shooting, University of Wisconsin Hospital doctors, nurses and staff constantly drill for widespread emergencies.

“We are well-prepared to handle that kind of situation,” said Ralph Turner, UW Hospital vice president of facilities and support services.

An active shooter plan is practiced at least once a year, he said.

There is also a system that tracks just how many beds are free in emergency rooms across the city. If a disaster does strike, Turner said the system makes sure there’s a place to treat as many patients as possible.

“We’ve been drilling at least every month with the state to ensure the system was active and it could be promptly used,” Turner said.