Behind the Badge: Web Extras - WXOW News 19 La Crosse, WI – News, Weather and Sports |

Behind the Badge: Web Extras


ONALASKA, Wisconsin (WXOW)—The 10 week Onalaska Citizen Police Academy was an incredible experience. Obviously in the broadcast, we couldn't show everything from every class. So we compiled some extra clips from different courses and interviews with officers and class participants.

First, a little bit about the department. The Onalaska Police Department was established in 1946. Currently there are 27 sworn officers and four civilian employees. That includes the chief, assistant chief, four sergeants, 17 patrol officers, two investigators, a D.A.R.E. officer and a school resource officer. 

The officers are split in to four different shifts: first, which is 6 AM- 2 PM, second which is 2 PM-10 PM, third which is 10 PM-6 AM and swing shift, which has varying hours.

All officers on duty carry about 20 lbs. of gear on their belts, including handcuffs, a taser, a baton, pepper spray, a pistol, two magazines and a flashlight.

Here's a little bit more about what you'll see in these web extras.

D.A.A.T: It stands for Defense and Arrest tactics. Officers taught us the maneuvers they're trained to use in the event a suspect is uncooperative. Some of us had never thrown a punch, myself included.

Shooting Range: This is some more footage of our day at the gun range. We got to shoot the officers handguns and a 40 millimeter gun, which shot less lethal rounds. The 40 is very accurate and has to be, because the goal is to hit a subject in the upper thigh or area that won't do much damage. Before an officer fires that less lethal round, they have to yell, "Impact" so other officers know they are not firing their handgun.

John's Simunition: Our Chief Photographer John Schmidt not only filmed the gun range day and the D.A.A.T. class, but he also went through his own simunition. He strapped a camera to his helmet so you can get a first hand look at what that simunition was like.

Kristen's Simunition: We already showed most of this on-air. I didn't do so well in my simunition. Luckily the officer playing the intruder didn't fire back at us. We were shooting soap pellets, which are kind of like paintballs. They don't cause any permanent harm, but if you get hit where you aren't protected, they definitely leave a mark.

Pepper Spray Demo: We had a very brave volunteer from the Onalaska Police Reserves get pepper sprayed. He took the hit so we could see the impact it has on a suspect. It took about 30 minutes of rinsing out his eyes with a hose before the burning went away. That's one reason officers will often deploy a taser before pepper spray, because once they spray a suspect, they then have to rinse out their eyes.

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