Wisconsin State Capitol Police History


1881: Five police officers were employed at the Wisconsin State Capitol. 

1903: The police force was increased to eight police officers and two night watchmen.

1911: There were eight police officers under the Superintendent of Public Property.

1960’s: Ray Hustad appointed head of Capitol Security. 

1969: State Legislature changed the then Capitol security force to the State Protective Services in response to a civilian group and Father James Groppi, who took control of the State Capitol Assembly Chamber in 1969 for a week long period. Secret Service conducted a study and subsequent recommendations for improved security of the Capitol.  The study findings resulted in the state hiring a number of police officers to provide law enforcement services at the Capitol and other Department of Administration owned facilities. The goal was to have 66 police officers and 13 detectives.

1970-1987:  Robert Hamele was named the first Capitol Police Chief. First Capitol Police patch issued. View patch here.

1987-2003:  Michael Metcalf selected as Chief.

1992: Redesigned shoulder patches were issued. View patch here.

1996:  State legislature changed the Capitol Police statutory authority for enforcement actions. (SS. 16.84(2) authority was given to enforce state laws state wide).

2000:  Law enforcement responsibilities for the State Fair Park in West Allis were transferred to the Capitol Police and the two departments merged as one.

2004: Lt. Marc Schmidt served as Acting Chief from January through October. 

2004-2008: David Heinle selected as Chief. 

2008: Deputy Chief Daniel Blackdeer served as Acting Chief from January through September.

2008: State Fair Park Police separated from the Capitol Police.

2008-2012: Charles Tubbs selected as Chief.

2012: Deputy Chief Daniel Blackdeer served as Acting Chief from June through July.

2012-present: David M. Erwin selected as Chief.

2013:  “State” was added to our name to officially become the Wisconsin State Capitol Police. Black uniforms and redesigned patches were issued. View patch here

2015: We became the first police force in Wisconsin to have a nationally certified “Vapor Wake” K-9 unit.

2015: After years of operating out of the basement of the State Capitol our headquarters relocated across the street in the Department of Justice, Risser Justice Building.

2017: We established the state drone network.