Officers use bad weather to train on emergency driving technique - WXOW News 19 La Crosse, WI – News, Weather and Sports |

Officers use bad weather to train on emergency driving techniques

Eau Claire (WQOW) - The Eau Claire Police Department put Tuesday's bad weather to good use, giving officers the perfect opportunity to train for the unexpected.

"You can't prepare for the unexpected other than to recognize the unexpected will happen," says Eau Claire Police Sgt. Travis Quella.

If you are one of the 100 officers of the Eau Claire Police Department, you must be ready to handle anything while on the job, and while behind the wheel.

"Awareness is as important or more important than being able to physically handle the car," says Sgt. Quella.

And Tuesday's wet weather made for perfect practice conditions.

"We of course work in Wisconsin, and several of the months you're going to have the inclement conditions, and you'll see out there on the range where officers could be doing a certain speed in August, where they're not going to be able to do that now," Sgt. Quella says.

At the 3M facility, officers were put through three different scenarios:

Proper control of the car, emergency stopping, and perhaps one of the most dangerous:

"Headquarters to units, active shooter, active shooter on the east side of the 3M building," the training officer tells a police officer.

"Every year there are officers that find themselves in a very dangerous situation in their squad car. There's a person who's willing to shoot at the officer, and frankly, often has the upper hand because of the officer's seated position, who's seat belted in, and our weapons are secure."

"We're trying to teach officers a safe way that they can at least get the rifle deployed and ready so that when they do come to a stop at this call, they're not taking those valuable seconds at the scene where they could be coming under fire."

Emergency driving isn't all about speed.

"Is the call that you're going to an emergency that you're going to need to exceed the speed limit," Sgt. Quella asks his officers. "Often times we encourage officers to take a few extra seconds, recognizing that when we are in emergency mode driving with lights and sirens there are some inherent risks with that."

Tuesday's emergency driving training was part of training every officer must go through every two years.

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