Police ride-along turns into fraud investigation - WXOW News 19 La Crosse, WI – News, Weather and Sports |

Police ride-along turns into fraud investigation

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La Crosse, WI (WXOW) -

As 18-year La Crosse Police veteran Chuck Frandsen entered the city treasury followed by a news camera, an employee joked, "Are you important today?"

Without missing a beat, he replied, "Not just today."

That sentiment is one people across the country are hoping bring attention to. During National Police Week, it's a time to reflect on the work police do in their everyday jobs.

Officer Frandsen began his law enforcement career 23 years prior in Monroe County as a sheriff's deputy.

"When I was going to school, I had some friends who were sheriff's deputies in Monroe County," Frandsen said. "I did a few ride-alongs with them and enjoyed it quite a bit."

His day to day duties vary, on Thursday providing escort for a treasury department deposit.

"One of our big jobs is safety for the public," he said. "The city employees are part of the public."

But following that, it took a turn toward financial fraud investigation. A woman was concerned someone might be draining her mother's bank account and asked Officer Frandsen to look into it.

"This poor lady, her mother has had some checks stolen," he said. "There's purchase after purchase all in the same day."

Frandsen said the woman's son may be suffering from a drug addiction and is looking toward crimes like this to continue funding his addiction. 

"He's looking at multiple felonies here."

Available technology has changed dramatically during Frandsen's 23-year career both for law enforcement and those who can help police locate suspects. The store (to remain anonymous pending investigation) where illegal transactions were made can pinpoint camera footage to transaction times relating to the victim's bank records. What Frandsen finds at those particular times tell him where to look next.

"Was it the grandson, or did he give the card and the PIN to somebody else? That's what a lot of these guys do. They're not dumb people just because they are addicts, they just unfortunately are addicts and that addiction is stronger than their moral compass."

This all took place during two hours of Officer Frandsen's 12 hour shift. La Crosse Police moved to 12-hour shifts a number of years ago to address overtime issues while still being able to cover the entire community adequately.

"Our hours have changed and made it a longer day for us, but with that longer day we also get a lot more time off."

Frandsen now gets every other weekend off as opposed to one weekend every six weeks. That's time off Officer Frandsen gets to spend enjoying the community he's served all these years. He particularly enjoys the outdoors.

"This area has so much to offer outdoors and it's a great place to live."

National Police Week continues through Saturday May 19.

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