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La Crosse Police Department undergoes annual in-service training

Published: May. 9, 2022 at 6:43 PM CDT
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LA CROSSE, Wis. (WEAU) - La Crosse police officers are sharpening their skills this week, while also learning new policing tactics.

As part of the La Crosse Police Department’s (LCPD) annual in-service training, a new course known as ICAT is being used to focus on specific types of situations.

“Responding to incidents where the subject has a weapon that is not a firearm,” Police Investigator Alex Burg explained.

The ICAT method is meant to de-escalate matters when a person is wielding a knife, bat, or other weapons while also experiencing a mental health, or other crisis.

“The idea is to utilize space and time, so when you’re making contact with somebody with such a weapon, you want to have adequate space to be able to react,” Burg detailed. “Space is going to give you time to communicate and set up less lethal options, and work towards a solution to have a positive outcome for everyone.”

ICAT was developed in 2016, and 2022 is the first year that the LCPD is including it in its annual training.

More familiar techniques are also being practiced this week, including ones that put officers behind the wheel.

“We’re practicing the PIT maneuver,” Lt. Cory Brandl said. “When officers are involved in a pursuit, they can utilize the PIT technique if the option arises.”

Learning the PIT maneuver is part of the LCPD’s Emergency Vehicle Operations training, which is held every two years.

Brandl says its crucial to take time to run through methods like the PIT maneuver so that officers will feel comfortable using it in the field.

“With all of the tactics and techniques, this is not something that officers utilize outside of training unless they’re doing it if they’re involved in a pursuit,” Brandl described. “We absolutely need to practice this technique.”

All sworn members of the LCPD are taking part in the training, which is building off of sessions that were held in January and February.

Training simulations on Monday took place at the La Crosse Regional Airport’s Civil Air Patrol.

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