Law enforcement prepare for mass shootings, but still 'worst nightmare'
MILWAUKEE - The Colorado theater mass shooting is a situation that law enforcement officers in Milwaukee and across America prepare for, but is still a "worst nightmare" type of challenge.
"Officers are trained for these types of events," explained Waukesha Police Detective Steve Pederson, the President of the Association of Wisconsin SWAT Personnel, on Newsradio 620 WTMJ's "Wisconsin's Morning News."
Still, he and colleagues like Los Angeles Police Lieutenant Paul Vernon say "this is a detectives worst nightmare...anyone's worst nightmare, to go through a situation like this."
Vernon also told Newsradio 620 WTMJ's "Wisconsin's Morning News" that a crime scene such as the Aurora, Colo. movie theater takes "hours, and hours, and hours to process."
Yet those initial moments after such an event are critical in finding the suspect, and the motive.
"The law enforcement side is coming in and looking for the shooter and find out what is going on," explained Peterson.
"It's very chaotic, because now you're having to deal with all these people that are wounded. Officers are trying to glean as much intelligence as they can to find out where exactly the shooter is so they can deal with that problem.
"Once that's contained, fire and rescue come in and treat the wounded, and just as quickly, you have the investigators there, because they want to turn it very quickly. They want to identify who is this person and what is the motivation. Is this person acting alone or are they part of a group or an organization?"
Vernon also expressed the challenge of how the information witnesses describe to authorities can differ, which then leads investigators into questions of what's accurate and what is not true.
"You're going to have to interview a bunch of different people who have different perspectives, positions and views and understandings of whatever happened," said Vernon."