La Crosse police reserves train for river rescues

It’s been three and a half years since a person has drowned in the Mississippi River near Riverside Park. And law enforcement is trying to make it the last.

The Police Reserves were out training Tuesday evening at Riverside Park with the Dive Rescue Unit.

They were practicing using throw bags and other equipment available to them while patrolling along the river.

Every weekend, the reserves are in the park turning people away before anyone thinks about going into the Mississippi.


“If we have someone go in the river, we’re down here, we have the equipment to make almost an instant type of rescue if need be,” said Sgt. Randy Rank with the La Crosse Police Department.

Volunteers also patrol the river as part of Operation Riverwatch. They help turn away dozens of intoxicated people every year.