What a blast! And what an incredible teachable moment. I just returned from spending about 4 hours with the Onalaska police out at the gun range. As many of you already know, I love to shoot holes in paper targets. It's a ton of fun no matter what kind of rifle, shotgun, or handgun I might be using. I absolutely love target shooting.
As part of the City of Onalaska Citizens Police Academy the officers took us out to Holmen Rod and Gun Club and let us experience the kind of training that they go through. We started off with an informative safety briefing in the meeting hall and then geared up with Kevlar vests so we could get a sense of what it is like for officers who must wear one every day. Man, it's been a long time since I had to wear one of those things and it brought back lots of memories of the time I spent as a security guard picking up and delivering money for banks and casinos around the Twin Cities.
During this week's class of the Onalaska Citizen's Police Academy the officers instructed us on some of the tactics they use for protecting themselves and their 'rules for engagement' when being confronted by a criminal. We were able to witness the effects of pepper spray as one of the training officers sprayed a volunteer from the police reserves. It's surprising to see how effective a little pepper juice can be. The volunteer started tearing up and couldn't keep his eyes open after getting a shot of pepper in the face.
I have always had a deep respect for those who serve the community. With friends and family scattered throughout the world in the service of our nation (Marine Corps, Navy, Army, Air Force, Coast Guard - my friends and family cover the entire spectrum) I have always felt that law enforcement officers are really in the same type of service at the local level. One of my college roommates became a Minneapolis Police Officer and I was able to hear the good, bad, and ugly about his work there when I lived in that city. I even participated somewhat in law enforcement by being 'the eyes and ears' of the Minneapolis campus police while working as a security guard through college.
I have decided to participate in the Onalaska Citizen's Police Academy that is planned for April. I dropped off my application on Friday and hope to be accepted.
A couple of friends took this course several years ago and highly recommended it. One graduate of the program couldn't say enough about how informative the program was and how much more she respects the members of law enforcement. They have a very tough job so learning more about what they do for our community will be time well spent.
I'm looking forward to getting to know our law enforcement officers better as well as learning more about the community in general. If I get accepted to participate then I will do my best to keep you all informed here on the blog.
If you are interested in learning more then please visit the Onalaska Police Department for more information.
The 8th and 17th Annual Neighbors Days is April 20, 2013.
Those living within the city limits of La Crosse who own their home and would like to request assistance with outdoor cleanup can get free help with raking yards, trimming shrubs and washing outside windows by filling out the assistance form and submitting it by April 05, 2013.
Mail to: La Crosse Jaycees Neighbors Day, P.O. Box 1234, La Crosse, WI 54603-1234.
La Crosse Jaycees coordinates the La Crosse Neighbors Day.
You can volunteer as a group or as an individual.
Volunteers will register from 8 to 9 a.m. April 20, 2013 at Black River Beach Neighborhood Center.
After picking up their tools, volunteers will be sent throughout the city to work projects.
A free lunch for volunteers will be served from noon to 2 p.m. at Black River Beach Neighborhood Center.
Both registration forms are available at: http://www.cityoflacrosse.org/index.aspx?NID=928