La Crosse Police Department conducts training exercise on new pa - WXOW News 19 La Crosse, WI – News, Weather and Sports |

La Crosse Police Department conducts training exercise on new patrol boat

La Crosse Police Department conducts training exercise on new patrol boat

LA CROSSE, Wisconsin (WXOW) - The La Crosse Police Department is using new equipment to fight crime in the area.  They have a new boat which will be used for the first time this weekend to patrol the river.

Twenty-two La Crosse officers trained with the Wisconsin DNR Wednesday to be ready to handle their new boat.

"We have not had a water patrol unit in, I believe it's been over thirty years, and we saw a need for it in the city of La Crosse. So we started a grant procedure through Homeland Security, and we were awarded a grant, which allowed us to purchase a new boat and the equipment to come with it," says Sergeant Randy Rank of the La Crosse Police Department.

"The officers that have volunteered to be on the water for the La Crosse Police Department are being trained in water techniques from the Wisconsin Department of Conservation Wardens."

Edward McCann was one of those Conservation Wardens who helped train the police officers.

"We're addressing pulling up to docks or other boats safely, we're addressing arresting individuals on one boat and bringing them over to another boat. And then we're also addressing high speed operations, evasive maneuvers, to make sure that when they are operating out there and they have to do it at a high speed, they have some tools to use," said McCann.

Sergeant Rank says the main focus of the exercise is to make sure boaters on the river stay safe. "The main thing is safety. The safety of people who are using our waterways here in the city of La Crosse. You know, what we're going to see is, we're going to see people out there having a good time, and that's what we want them to do, is have a good time, enjoy themselves, but we want them to be safe. We do want the boat out there. We want the public to know we're out there."

The boat will have two police officers on it at all times.

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