CPA Week 2: Squads, Speed Detection, and ERT

This week’s Citizens’ Police Academy covered quite a few topics.

First, participants learned what it takes to become a Police Officer with the La Crosse Police Department.  Lt. Troy Nedegaard walked everyone through the education and physical fitness requirements, the recruitment and application process, and the 14-week field training program that new LCPD Officers experience.

After this, participants were split into three groups to rotate through three different presentations – Patrol Squad vehicle and equipment tour; Laser and Radar speed detection practice; and Emergency Response Team (ERT), tactical vehicles and equipment.

Officer Tyler Pond showed participants all the tools and the equipment housed in a typical patrol squad.  He explained the lights and sirens, radar detection system, cameras and video mechanisms; provided an example of a license plate look-up; allowed everyone to sit in the holding area; and answered many questions.

To demonstrate speed detection, Officer Scott Harmel provided participants the opportunity to use a laser to detect speed from a stationary point.  Then Officer Chuck Frandsen took people on a ride in a squad car and showed them how officers use radar to detect speed, while stationary or on active patrol.

Last, Sgt. Jason Mahairas, Sgt. Grant Gyllander, and Officer Dan Ulrich provided information on the Emergency Response Team, including the types of calls the team responds to, the equipment used, and the specialized tactical vehicles available to the team.  Participants were able to view and sit inside the department ERT vehicle and the County/City BEARCAT vehicle.  To end the presentation, participants took a short ride in the MRAP (Mine Resistant Ambush Protected) vehicle and learned just how important it could be in emergency situations.

We look forward to next week when participants learn about the operations of La Crosse County Emergency Services, including a tour of the Public Safety Communications Center (dispatch) and the La Crosse County Jail.


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