July 2013

Exercising Strong!

By: Mike Lackey, UWPD Emergency Services Coordinator

Vehicle fire, part of the BadgerOne Exercise.

Vehicle fire, part of the BadgerOne Exercise.

It was 9:00 a.m. on May 26, 2010 — the area near Bradley Residence Hall was swarming with firefighters and police.  A car was burning in the parking lot; there was a large explosion and gunshots rang out. People were screaming and frantically running for cover in all directions.  As real and ominous as it seemed, this was the Badger One full-scale exercise.

UW-Madison Police Department’s Emergency Management Unit (EM) is tasked with developing and conducting regular exercises that test the University’s emergency plans. These plans include the University Response Plan (URP), Occupant Emergency Plans (OEP), and Continuity of Operations Plans (COOP). The plans are tested in a variety of ways. One is a discussion based scenario called a tabletop exercise. In this type of exercise the plans are talked through in a condensed timeframe in order to see if the basic plan and procedures will work.

The next step up is a functional exercise. This is an expanded scenario, but not all of the response pieces are in full motion. In December 2011, EM conducted Operation Hot Potato — was a four-hour functional exercise with a health emergency scenario. The exercise scenario simulated the botulism poisoning of some students and faculty on campus.

Finally, there are full-scale exercises like Badger One. These test the full range of emergency response plans and capabilities. These exercises often include other first responder agencies.

Teams plan their tactical response during the BadgerOne Exercise.

Teams plan their tactical response during the BadgerOne Exercise.

Exercises help prepare for and test UW-Madison’s abilities to respond to likely emergency situations. UWPD’s EM Unit uses these simulated emergencies to strengthen our response plans and procedures. Through a strong exercise plan we can help build a more resilient university – a university capable of responding to and recovering from any emergency situation we face.

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UWPD Hosts Statewide K9 Training

By: Sgt. Brent Plisch, K9 Handler

The UWPD K9 unit hosted a statewide workshop for explosive detection K9s in June.  The certification took place around various campus locations, sites off-campus, and even at Lake Mendota.  The K9 unit hosted the training for a number of K9 units from Dane, Milwaukee, and Brown Counties, as well as K9 teams from the Wisconsin State Patrol and Northern Illinois University.   Two special agent bomb technicians from the FBI as well as a North American Police Work Dog Association (NAPWDA) Master Trainer conducted the certifications.

Sgt. Cherise Caradine with K9 Casey, Sgt. Brent Plisch with K9 Olin, and Det. Shane Driscoll with K9 Rex (left to right).

Sgt. Cherise Caradine with K9 Casey, Sgt. Brent Plisch with K9 Odin, and Det. Shane Driscoll with K9 Rex (left to right).

The NAPWDA testing process is a blind test for the K9s and their handlers — and involves explosive detection in various areas, including: open areas, rooms/buildings, vehicles, and luggage.  Units attending the training also obtained certification on detecting explosives on watercraft, with help from the Dane County Sheriff’s Office Trail and Marine Unit.  The teams were exposed to travel by watercraft — and had a blast!

All four of UWPD’s K9 teams are required to attend a NAPWDA certification annually to test their skills in explosive or narcotics detection as well as other disciplines such as tracking and evidence recovery.  Though certification is not the only measure of a successful K9 program, the UWPD is proud of the hard work and dedication all of our K9 teams show in preparing and successfully completing the certification.

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A Lesson on 911

By: Matt VandenLangenberg, UWPD Intern

Intern Matt VandenLangenberg

Intern Matt VandenLangenberg

First, an introduction: my name is Matt VandenLangenberg, and I am the UW-Madison Police Department summer intern. I am originally from Green Bay, Wisconsin, and I am going to be a senior here at UW in the fall (so close to graduating!). My degree is in Legal Studies with a Criminal Justice Certificate, and I am working at UWPD for about 12 weeks this summer, gaining knowledge and experience in the criminal justice field, as well as writing stories for BADGEr Beat.

After working at UWPD for only a few weeks, I have learned a lot of important things that are not generally known to the public – and a lot of that starts with the highly trained communicators in our dispatch center.  With so much at stake, it’s vital to be educated about 911.  Personally, I knew very little about how this life saving service works, and I had a lot of questions. Following are answers to questions I had for the UW 911 Dispatch Center, and I am guessing are common questions many others have.

If I’m on campus, what is the best way to call 911?  Calling from a landline is best Cell Phonebecause those calls go directly to the UW Communications Center, while cell phone calls go to the Dane County Communications Center and are then forwarded to UW Police, which may take some extra time.  In a real emergency, no matter what type of line you’re calling on, never hesitate to call 911.

When I call 911, why might I be put on hold?  The police department can take multiple calls at the same time, but depending on the severity of different calls, if your call is not an emergency, you may be put on hold.

Why do I get asked so many questions when I call 911?  There are a few reasons. The first thing you will be asked is your location because the Communications Center doesn’t always know exactly where you are. Second, the dispatchers try to get as much information as possible so that they know which services are needed and how to best serve you.

Kendra Hendricks working in the UWPD dispatch center. (Photo credit: Bryce Richter/UW-Madison).

Kendra Hendricks working in the UWPD dispatch center. (Photo credit: Bryce Richter/UW-Madison).

Why do you respond to misdialed 911 calls?  Police respond to misdialed 911 calls to ensure the safety and security of the community and the person who called 911.

What are emergency phones? There are many emergency phones located throughout campus — be on the lookout for them in case of an emergency. They are commonly located in parking garages, so a common mistake is that people use them to ask questions about paying parking. When you press the button, the call goes directly the UWPD 911 Communication Center.  Remember, these phones are to be used for emergencies only.

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Inside the UWPD Security Division

By: Matt VandenLangenberg, UWPD Intern

As the summer intern, I have the opportunity to shadow many different jobs in the UW-Madison Police Department, and one that I found unique is the position of security officer. Community members may not notice them or even realize that they work for UWPD, but they are the ones behind the scenes committed to keeping our campus buildings safe.

UW-Madison is home to billions of dollars of research, art, and hospital equipment.  Who is responsible for the safekeeping of the more than 300 buildings on campus, along with everything inside them?  The Security division of the UWPD consists of dedicated men and women who make it their highest priority to provide security services to our campus buildings, dorms, and the community as a whole.  The three daily shifts of security officers are responsible for being experts in the geography of campus and knowing the layouts of buildings.  Each shift has unique responsibilities that help keep the campus community safe.

Security officers Kevin Sopha and Denise Mundt at READY Camp 2013.

Security officers Kevin Sopha and Denise Mundt at READY Camp 2013.

First shift security officers staff buildings while they are open during the day.  A significant amount of time is spent giving assistance to staff, students and visitors to campus.  Officers on first shift are skilled in access control of buildings and working with camera and alarm systems.Second shift is mainly responsible for locking nearly 50 buildings every night.  That means nearly 1,800 doors need to be locked and secured.  Officers are staffed at the Health Science Learning Center and the Chazen Museum, as well as throughout campus, checking that buildings are safe and secure.

Third shift route security officers work overnight, securing buildings while they are closed to the community. During this time, much responsibility falls on security officers to be proactive in crime prevention. This means that officers find issues and work to solve them before they could potentially become big problems.  Officers are always on the lookout for potential water leaks, repair issues, fire hazards, damage to property, suspicious persons, and unlocked offices or labs.

Since the expansion of the Chazen Museum in 2011, it has been home to the second largest collection of art in Wisconsin.  Security officers patrol the museum 24/7 for the safety of staff, students, community, and the art. Officers are responsible for checking the museum for anything that might become problematic; from mechanical or electrical issues to suspicious persons.

Along with the responsibility of keeping all campus buildings safe, UWPD security officers often work closely with police officers and the fire department. While security officers are not armed, they are trained in defense and arrest tactics and may accompany police officers on emergency calls. Because security officers are stationed at buildings around campus, they are often times the first on scene when an emergency situation arises. They are highly trained, skilled in problem solving, and equipped to uphold campus safety.  With the diligent, proactive efforts of the Security division, students, staff, and visitors can safely enjoy all of what UW-Madison has to offer.

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Safety Saturday Success

By: Marc Lovicott, Public Information Ofcr. / Theresa Waage, Sec. Supervisor

Kids enjoyed all of the activites on hand at Safety Saturday -- we even had coloring!

Kids enjoyed all of the activites on hand at Safety Saturday — we even had coloring!

Hundreds came out for the Madison Fire Department’s annual Safety Saturday — and once again, the UW-Madison Police Department was excited to be a part of it.  The annual event is a great tool to get kids up close and personal with a variety of local first responders, and the tools they use to keep their community safe.

McGruff the Crime Dog was very popular with all the kids who stopped by!

McGruff the Crime Dog was very popular with all the kids who stopped by!

UWPD had lots to show off at the event — including K9 Casey, our bike and motorcycle units, dispatch/police communications, and even McGruff the Crime Dog stopped by to visit with the kids!

We not only interacted with the kids, but we also provided some valuable tools and education to adults.  In all, 53 gun safety locks were given away — we also handed out many FEMA booklets and Ready Kits.

Thank you to everyone who stopped by and visited with us — and also a big thanks to all of the UWPD staff who were there meeting all the kids and their families!

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***  UPCOMING EVENTS  ***
Sat., Aug. 3 – Kickin’ it with the K9s: Annual Summer Picnic | details
Sat., Aug. 10 – Badger Watch Buddies Summer Safety Olympics | details

 

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