UW holds simulated terrorist attack training exercise
‘Bomb' goes off at 7 a.m., law enforcement training continues all day
MADISON, Wis. — The concourse of Cam Randall will be a much different scene than fans are used to seeing Thursday as emergency crews simulate a terrorist attack.
Police said they hope the scenario, a bomb blast in a packed stadium, is one they never have to face.
The drill will be the first and largest of its kind in the state, and will cause a pretty big ruckus on the University of Wisconsin campus and Madison’s near west side.
The blast will happen right in the concourse between Camp Randall and the Shell Athletic Center. Around 7 a.m. an electronically simulated explosion will happen, and police said they have done the best they can to alert people on what to expect.
“We are prepared for people who don’t know. I don’t know where they have been, but wherever they have been and haven’t heard about this (we ask them) to dial the real 911 center and our pseudo 911 center,” UW Police Chief Sue Riseling.
Riseling said they detonated a bomb at Fort McCoy with the help from the FBI, and they will recreate the bomb splatter pattern in the concourse to use in the simulated investigation.
Setup has already started for the exercise, which will have 20 law enforcement agencies going beyond a typical drill. Normally, drills stops at treating patients. In this drill, law enforcement will be figuring out who planted the bomb in the stadium and arresting them somewhere in the city.
“Most of the time we see a fraction of this type of exercise. We’re doing the whole thing all the day through, so we’re attempting to do something that has not ever been done before,” Riseling said.
The extra steps of the exercise mean crews will be moving beyond the stadium and out into the city.
Riseling will only say organizers have a police-secured location that won’t affect a neighborhood.
As for the area near Camp Randall, residents and commuters should be prepared for the exercise to impact them.
The 1400 block of Monroe Street will be closed to traffic from 5 a.m. to 5 p.m. Breese Terrace and the rest of Monroe Street will be open during the training.
Riseling said the UWPD, the fire station on Monroe Street and every other emergency agency taking part in the raining will be fully operational and able to respond to real emergencies if needed.