La Crosse Police Department interacts with community and teams up with UWL

Local News

LA CROSSE, Wis. (WLAX/WEUX) – The shooting of Jacob Blake has led to further discussion over law enforcement procedures.

First News at Nine’s Hayley Spitler has more on how one local police department is working towards better training and understanding with its community.

Last week, La Crosse leaders participated in a community town hall on policing.

Chief Shawn Kudron of La Crosse Police Department said, “We had an opportunity to bring together many, many thoughtful people that want to work at really establishing better relationships in our community with community members and with our police department.”

Now the department is taking ideas and turning them into actions. Starting with working towards the community seeing officers as real people with posts titled behind the badge.

“It’s just another way to interact with our community and this is on a social media platform, where our community can just understand a little bit more about our officers, who they are as people. Our officers call the Coulee Region home,” said Kudron.

The La Crosse Police Department also has a transparency in policing website, which shows what training officers receive. It is invested in fair and impartial police training but knows one module is not enough and components should be taught on a regular basis.

“We recently had one of our trainers attend all of our shift briefings before the officers go onto the streets for their shift and really just provide some training again on bias by proxy,” said Kudron.

The department is also working on a training that informs on black history, teaming up with UWL on a human rights policing pilot project.

Additionally, the La Crosse Police Department is also looking at reimagining the school resource officer role.

Kudron said, “School resource officers have opportunities when school is in session to have a high-number of informal contacts with a lot of students.”

While some in the community are calling to defund the police, Chief Kudron says a properly funded and trained department serves the community in the best way possible.

“To take money away from our department could certainly be detrimental when it comes to trying to provide that training and trying to provide that information,” said Kudron.

The La Crosse Police Department continues to ask the community for help with bridging the gaps and interacting with marginalized communities.

In La Crosse, Hayley Spitler, First News at Nine.

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