Ride-along with La Crosse Police Department

News 8 joins patrol officer for an afternoon

Casey Kamps starts his work day like most – preparing for the day ahead.  But, as a police officer, that’s pretty hard to do.

First, Officer Kamps packs and checks-through his to-go bag. It’s stocked full of paperwork, needle tubes for picking up needles, a traffic vest, and winter gear to be ready for any type of weather the Midwest has to offer.

Then, Officer Kamps takes his bag out to a patrol car, where the check-through continues. Lights, sirens, and any equipment used are checked to make sure there are no issues for the day ahead.

After everything is looked over, it’s time to hit the streets.

“There are three different sectors and there’s six different beats. Each officer is assigned a beat and then there’s directed patrol units as well so roughly on any given day, there’s 10-12 officers patrolling here in the city,” said Kamps.

This day would start slow for Officer Kamps. Some routine calls, but nothing too out of the ordinary. That was until he spotted a mother duck and her ducklings quacking for help to get to the river. Officer Kamps got out of his vehicle, put on the traffic vest, and helped the ducks to safety.

“The ducks are safe. We made it across!” said Kamps.

Then it was back to patrolling. Until, another ‘duck and her ducklings’ caught Officer Kamps’ eye. A family of three were seen biking on the sidewalk while wearing helmets and as part of a new program within the department, Officer Kamps rewarded them with three tickets for free ice cream.

The hand-off ended with a smile from Officer Kamps, telling of his love for the job.

“You’re a kid on Christmas Eve. You get excited and you get that feeling like you’re going to open up some presents or something like that. That’s the feeling I get when I come to work,” said Kamps.

But it’s not always about helping ducklings and handing out ice cream while on patrol. Sometimes, there’s a need for those sirens we hear every day.

Officer Kamps gets the call of a possible overdose. He quickly responds to the scene to assist his fellow first responders and the people in need.

“When those things happen, you’re training and your past experiences take over,” said Kamps.

No lives were lost on this call, an outcome Officer Casey Kamps says, in the unpredictable work of patrolling the streets, is his number one goal every day he puts on the badge.

“When that happens, one day at a time, that’s a win and that’s what I do my job for,” said Kamps.

Officer Kamps will mark his four-year anniversary with the La Crosse Police Department in June.  He says he works 8-hours a day, 5-days a week and sticks to patrolling his ‘beat’ to become more familiar with the community.