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La Crosse Police utilize segways to patrol Maple Leaf Parade

La Crosse, WI (WXOW) — Officers with the La Crosse Police Department are out and about making sure that everyone has a safe Oktoberfest.

“We do have a significant police presence not only in the downtown area,” Sgt. Tom Walsh with the La Crosse Police Department said.  “Certainly along both of our parade routes, but also in the campus. So, all we ask is that we’re asking for our community to be voluntarily compliant.”

Two officers with the La Crosse Police Department spent the Maple Leaf Parade enforcing the law, but not forgetting to have a little bit of fun.

“Yes, there is an enforcement side to this today as well, and we will take enforcement where it’s needed,” Sgt. Jon Wenger with the La Crosse Police Department said. “But, the other aspect is the community policing aspect.”

Wegner and his partner spent the morning giving high fives, answering questions that the parade-goers had, and politely telling people no to riding the segway.

“People are attracted to the segway,” Wenger said. “It kind of breaks that barrier for conversations. People do approach us.”

Policing on a segway has its advantages in heavy crowds like the ones during Oktoberfest. The elevate the police officers to give them a higher vantage point and allow them to move faster than they would on foot.

“We do give some audible coming up from behind people, so we don’t startle them when we run them over,” Wenger said.

The officers only had the segways out for the Maple Leaf Parade on Saturday morning. Then, it was back to patrolling on foot. Wenger says that is partly because of the short battery life of the segways.

Mackenzie Amundsen

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