Corrections officer commended

Forest Lake man responded quickly to hostage situation


Shane Warnke
Shane Warnke

On Oct. 12, one week to the day after completing critical incident training, Stillwater corrections officer and Forest Lake resident Shane Warnke used his new skills to defuse a potentially deadly situation at St. Joseph’s Hospital.

Warnke was providing security for an offender during a hospital visit.

While there, staff called him to the room of a patient who was threatening a hospital employee with a pair of scissors.

“By sheer chance, I happened to be down there working,” Warnke said. “The nursing assistant was being held hostage, and deadly force was present.”

A pair of scizzors to the jugular vein, he said, is serious.

The patient lunged at him twice, but Warnke was able to establish a dialogue. After a couple minutes, the patient agreed to drop the scissors and free the employee.

Warnke received a letter of commendation from his employer, the Minnesota Department of Corrections, for successfully quelling a hostage situation.

Has he needed the critical incident training since then?

“I use it about every day at work,” he said.