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Feds, state, local law to land on Madeline Island
Madeline Island will be overrun by cops, deputies, wardens, the state patrol, feds, firefighters and emergency response teams Wednesday. Mike Simonson reports.
In all, 75 law enforcement and first responders will descend on Madeline Island and the Town of LaPointe. Town Administrator Pete Clark isnít sure why they picked his place, but he says it could be a terrorist, drug dealer, anarchist, who knows drill. Thatís perfect for his island.
ďI think because it allows land, sea and air. (laughs) Itís bad guys in a house on an island. You know so I suppose it could be any of those things.Ē
Regional SWAT teams from Eau Claire, La Crosse and Superior, the National Park Service, Coast Guard, the National Guard, DNR, Wisconsin Emergency Management, several police, sheriff and fire departments will drill to combat what Eau Claire County Sheriff Lieutenant Rodney Stearns calls armed survivalists.
ďThis has gone back to way back in Posse Comitatus days back in the Ď70ís. This is people who donít believe in government, donít believe in law enforcement, donít recognize law enforcement at all. (They) are self-contained and self-sufficient, battling laws that donít pertain to them.Ē
Stearns says Madeline Island is unique and so is this exercise.
ďNever been done before. Iíve done training missions that Iíve put teams together and weíve trained by this manner. This one became complicated.Ē
Complicated on purpose. Stearns says the public shouldnít even know theyíre there and even each agency isnít told how itíll all go down.
ďMaking it fair, if you will, for both sides.Ē
Town Administrator Clark says itíll make for an interesting few hours. ďYeah, I mean itís never happened on Madeline Island.Ē
The operation begins at 9 a.m. and ends around 3 p.m. It includes beach and ferry landings and even a parachute drop.
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