MILWAUKEE (AP) -- The Milwaukee Police Department is sending all officers out in two-person squad teams after a Milwaukee officer was shot and seriously wounded by a domestic violence suspect.
Assistant Milwaukee Police Chief William Jessup says all seven police districts were told to use two-person squads "effective immediately and until further notice."
The Milwaukee Journal Sentinel reports authorities identified the wounded officer as 31-year-old Brandon Baranowski, a 13-year police veteran.
Baranowski was sitting in his squad car conducting the investigation early Sunday when the suspect approached on foot and fired at the officer, striking him several times. The suspect, a 20-year-old man from the suburb of West Allis, was later found dead of an apparently self-inflicted gunshot wound.
Milwaukee is not alone in assigning two-person patrols; West Allis and Greenfield police departments have also announced the staffing change.
"I think we're vulnerable all the time," Asst. Chief David Patrick with the Greenfield Police Department tells TODAY'S TMJ4. "We can be called to any location that anyone wants. We show up. We show up no matter what the call is."
Though safety is reason enough for two person patrols, officers we spoke say the change serves a second purpose: offering emotional security to families who worry about their loved ones.
"They're sending their loved ones to us everyday to protect the city and they expect us to protect them," Patrick adds.
There are special groups and resources available to families of those serving on the front lines in the city.
One such organization is Shielded Hearts. For more information, click here.