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La Crosse Police and Fire Chiefs detail service plans amid COVID-19 pandemic

Drew Kelly

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La Crosse emergency personnel say they are committed to keeping people safe in the wake of the COVID-19 pandemic.

Both the La Crosse Police and Fire Chiefs were among the speakers at an Emergency Operations Center press conference Friday morning.

The La Crosse Fire Department has separated crews while maintaining the worker minimum at any given time.

Three new buildings have been designated as stations including Logan High School, Central High School, and the La Crosse Center.

Fire and EMS personnel have a full stock of personal protective equipment, and Fire Chief Ken Gilliam says their emergency responses may change slightly.

“Residents may be encouraged, if they can walk, to walk out of their house and onto their front porch,” Gilliam said. “Versus us tracking two or three paramedics into a house where we don’t know what’s been cleaned.”

Additionally, the La Crosse Police Department has responded to complaints of larger gatherings and say they are requesting voluntary compliance.

Police Chief Shawn Kudron also addressed helping those in the homeless population, saying the current shelter at Cathedral School is unsustainable.

“The City of La Crosse is working at finding a better housing alternative,” Kudron said. “A housing alternative that is meant for habitation.”

Kudron adds that domestic violence calls have been slightly up since the Safer at Home order began two weeks ago.

The press conference also featured other city officials like City Planner Jason Gilman and Andrea Schnick with the City Planning office about what is being done for businesses who are struggling due to the pandemic.

To watch today’s full briefing click here.

Born in Decorah Iowa. I've been a news reporter for the last 10 years, starting right out of college in Fort Dodge, Iowa. Other professional opportunities led me to Marshalltown, Iowa and Antigo Wisconsin, before I finally was afforded the opportunity here in La Crosse. I've been here since 2016. I also act as the voice of local sports, doing play by play of high school and college football and basketball. When not working I enjoy golfing.

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