KENOSHA, Wis. — Less than two weeks after Wisconsin schools were hit with bogus active shooter calls, Kenosha Police held a Q&A to address the community response.
Public information officer Lt. Joseph Nosalik recalled officers rushing to the scene fully believing the call was real and students at Bradford High School were hurt.
"That is it is one of the most traumatic experiences I've ever felt in my life," Lt. Nosalik said, adding that every officer responding knew someone at the high school.
Law enforcement from across the region showed up to the high school in full force and so did nervous families. Kenosha Police said they get it because they are parents too, but that move disrupts the response by flooding the area while the school district and first responders followed their training.
"The roadways around Bradford High School, 39th Ave. and Washington Road, very big thoroughfare throughout the city, were completely congested with parental traffic responding to that school to get to loved ones. We had people respond with their own firearms wanting to help the police. What it did was divide attention from what the police (needed) to do to stop a threat and implement getting medical assistance," Lt. Nosalik explained.
Seeing that community response is why Kenosha Police held a live Q&A on Facebook. They posted a written explanation to their page that same day, but say they needed to do more. It was their first time reaching out this way.
Lieutenant Aaron Dillhoff handles active shooter training.
"We do this education to try to mitigate that type of response. If 20 parents can listen and watch this today and understand why we're asking them not to respond and that's 20 less parents that might be blocking a roadway and will provide an ambulance," said Lt. Aaron Dillhoff who handles active shooter training.
Briana McClinton's daughter is not in school yet, but she knows shootings are a devastating reality.
"It's not something as a parent now that I want to think about it, but I have to think about it," McClinton said.
She said her dad is a firefighter so she understands what police are asking, but knows it would not be easy.
"As a parent, I would definitely have to swallow my instinct on that and just kind of take it how everybody else is taking it but it would be hard for sure," McClinton said.