La Crosse’s new Police Chief identifies three of law enforcement’s biggest challenges

Chief Shawn Kudron takes the lead in La Crosse

Shawn Kudron was sworn in to his new position at city hall on Monday.
He was most recently captain before being appointed to police chief.
He is the first Chief to be chosen from within the department in more than 25 years.
Kudron takes a look at the most pressing issues facing the department.

“I’ve worked obviously with all the members of our department. And having the opportunity to move up into the Chief’s position, it’s a special one,” says the new chief.

Because new Chief Shawn Kudron has already been with the department for almost 20 years, he can start with a nearly seamless transition.

“I had a significant role in overseeing our Neighborhood Resource Officer program for the last several years and that has really opened my eyes to issues within our community.

And he says there are three main issues that are on the top of his list.

“We are still seeing a significant amount of cases that involve drugs and substance abuse. That is something that we as an agency need to continue to look at how can we better address that kind of issue in our community.”

Number two is gun violence.

“Gun crime, gun crime is on the increase. Just recently one of our officers faced that very thing and was injured in a shooting.”

Officer Dustin Darling, was responding to a domestic call in early August when the man he was looking for pulled out a gun and shot at him. Luckily, his vest protected him.

Kudron also said, “If we know, which we do because the stats are showing us that there’s more gun crime and more gun use that’s occurring on our streets, that becomes a safety factor for our officers and that can be a very scary thing.”

Officer Darling was cleared of any wrongdoing and the suspect has since been charged.

Finally, Kudron mentioned a third issue.

“Another issue that we have been looking at for several years is recruitment of officers. Numbers have been lower so we want to get out there and work at ways to get more qualified people who want to work for our department and serve our community.”

Kudron is the city’s 18th police chief and hopes to add more Neighborhood Resource Officers in the future.

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