In light of recent events, the city of Brookfield Police Department is extending its effort in training and educating people about one of the scariest types of situations they may encounter.
The department is offering a pair of sessions in April meant to educate residents and businesses alike on active shooter preparedness.
'It's a newer program that we've been offering for the past couple of years based on the tragic events that have been going on across the country including, unfortunately, a couple of local examples,' Brookfield Police Capt. Phil Horter said. 'It's really training that we think is important and we're trying different avenues to get it to the public.'
In the past, Horter and his colleagues have visited individual businesses and companies to prepare them for a situation should one arise in the workplace; the department is taking a new approach in April.
'We're trying to hit a bigger group by offering it to a larger population,' Horter said. 'We believe it's something that every citizen should have some training on.'
Sessions will take place on Thursday, April 14 and Tuesday, April 19 from 7 to 8:30 p.m. and 9 to 10:30 a.m. respectively. Both will take place in the courtroom at the Brookfield Public Safety Building, 2100 N. Calhoun Road.
Because of that setting, Horter said that there is still plenty of room for anyone interested in attending.
'The courtroom holds 150 to 200 people. I don't think either session is anywhere near capacity,' Horter said.
Horter said that one of the key things taught in active shooter preparedness is to understand the three options when faced with an active shooter: run, hide or fight.
'What's nice about 'Run, hide or fight' is it's rather simple and straightforward,' Horter said. 'I don't want to say your first option is always to run, because it depends on the situation, but typically if you can get away safely, then run.'
In general, Horter said that fighting back against an active shooter should be considered as a final resort.
'It's okay to give in to the demands of someone who is threatening you with violence, but if you're in a situation where you have to fight, then, as a last resort, be aggressive and you have a beter chance of success,' Horter said. 'If you're hiding and the suspect finds you and wants to cause you harm, you have two choices: You can sit there and do nothing, or you can fight.'
For more information on the active shooter preparedness sessions, residents should contact Horter at (262) 787-3563. To reserve a spot for a session, contact Brookfield Community Services Officer Denise Carroll at (262) 787-3557.
Horter also noted that the department is likely to offer the courses again in the future.
'There's a strong possibility that we would consider offering it again in the summer or fall,' Horter said.
For those who are interested but unable to attend in April, Horter recommends that people watch a video that covers the basics at www.youtube.com/watch?v=5VcSwejU2D0.