CPA Week 9: Water Patrol, K-9 Demo, and PS/CSB

This past Tuesday, Week 9 of the La Crosse Police Department Citizens’ Police Academy, was packed with great information about several different areas of the Police Department.

To kick off the evening, Sergeant Randy Rank gave a short presentation on the La Crosse Police Department Water Patrol Unit.  In 2014, the Department received a grant from the U.S. Coast Guard and established the first water patrol unit in over 30 years.  With 22 sworn officers specifically trained in Water Patrol Operations, the Department patrols 19 miles of waterways in the City of La Crosse.  For the first year, the Unit responded to over 160 boating-related contacts and calls for service, logging nearly 300 hours on the water.  Officers issued 22 boating citations and 78 written warnings.

Following Sgt. Rank’s presentation, Officer Casey Rossman introduced the class to the Department’s K-9 Unit.  The department has four police canines (K-9s).  Three K-9s perform various activities including drug detection, tracking, criminal apprehension, and handler protection.  Each of the three patrol shifts has one K-9 team: Officer Tony LeQue and K-9 Ralph on 1st Shift; Officer Trenton Bowe and K-9 Zaback on 2nd Shift; and Officer Rossman and K-9 Brutus on 3rd Shift.  The fourth K-9, Grumman, serves as an explosives detection K-9 and is assigned to Investigator Ron Secord in the Investigative Services Bureau.

After Officer Rossman’s presentation, he and K-9 Brutus provided a demonstration.  First, Officer Rossman showed the class how Brutus detects the odor of drugs.  Then he demonstrated several obedience maneuvers.  Last he showed everyone what it was like when Brutus was commanded to apprehend a criminal.  Officer Dale Gerbig played the part of “criminal” and took a bite from Brutus wearing a protective sleeve.  It was amazing to see Brutus in action!

To finish the class, Captain Robert Lawrence provided a presentation on the many duties and functions encompassed by Professional Standards / Community Services Bureau (PS/CSB).  For example, just a few of the PS/CSB duties include recruitment and training of department personnel; Department policy development and dissemination; overseeing Department media and community relations; administering the DARE and GREAT programs; overseeing the GREAT Midwest Atlantic Regional Training Center; maintaining WILEAG accreditation; organizing and assisting Neighborhood Watch programs, Operation River Watch, National Night Out; and much more!

Make sure to check back next week as we finish the 2015 Citizens’ Police Academy.


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