Wisconsin State Capitol Police: What We Do

What we Do

Located in downtown Madison, the Wisconsin State Capitol Police Department is responsible for providing police and security services to the Governor, Lieutenant Governor, legislators, Supreme Court, visiting dignitaries, state facilities, state employees, and citizens of the State of Wisconsin. SCPD has statewide jurisdiction and investigates criminal, domestic, and traffic related incidents throughout the State of Wisconsin.

Patrol Operations Section

Patrol Operations is the largest section of the Wisconsin State Capitol Police. It's the uniformed section with sectors in Madison and Milwaukee. It is responsible for the detection and preliminary investigation of crimes, traffic accidents, traffic violations and the protection of lives and facilities on Department of Administration managed properties. The Wisconsin State Capitol Police officers assigned to patrol wear traditional police uniforms and are assigned to specific beats that are patrolled on foot or in marked police vehicles, and also assigned specific post assignments. Officers assigned to this section are called upon to perform a wide range of duties and often must deal with individuals who have social and/or behavioral issues (i.e. mental illness or controlled substance abuse/addiction). Wisconsin State Capitol Police officers also perform traditional law enforcement responsibilities of investigating criminal activity and apprehending law violators.

Officers in the patrol section are also assigned to monitor large crowd gatherin​gs at state facilities for specially sanctioned events such as the Taste of Madison, Concerts on the Square, Farmer's Market, Art Fair on the Square, Cows on the Concourse and the Winter Holiday Parade. The patrol section also monitors and maintains order during the many unsanctioned events (i.e.: political demonstrations, rallies, acts of civil disobedience and marches) that occur on state property.

Specialized Services Section

Communications Unit: 

Located inside the historic Wisconsin State Capitol building, our communications center is a 24/7 operation, and our law enforcement dispatchers are the lifeline of our organization. Our dispatchers do so much more than just answer phone calls and dispatch police officers. They are an integral part of an overall safety and security ecosystem, including monitoring hundreds of video cameras, thousands of alarm inputs, access control systems, and they conduct a variety of other important tasks as needed. 

Criminal Investigations Unit: 

The Criminal Investigation Unit (CIU) serves multiple functions within the Wisconsin State Capitol Police to include conducting complex criminal investigations, preparing and executing search warrants and subpoenas, preserving and collecting evidence, providing victim services, managing court services, and assisting the patrol, dignitary, and security units as needed. 

The Criminal Investigation Unit works as part of the Wisconsin State Capitol Police’s overall system to reduce crime, fear, and disorder throughout State of Wisconsin.  As investigative and policing techniques are continually evolving to match the needs of our stakeholders, we routinely engage in specialized training activities in such topics as interview and interrogation, child abductio​n and sexual assault response teams, internet crimes against children, narcotics, financial crimes, violent crimes, tactical preparedness, mental health awareness, and evidence procedures. 

The Criminal Investigation Unit also acts as the court services liaison, processing over one thousand court cases annually. The Criminal Investigation Unit works to ensure a high standard for presentation of cases to district attorneys throughout the state.

Executive Residence Detail: 

The Executive Residence Detail (ERD) is a specialized team of sworn WI State Capitol police officers, known as Dignitary Specialists. This detail is responsible for the security at the WI Executive Residence​, including the Governer and thier family, staff, visitors to the residence, and the property itself. Specialists on this team are trained and equipped to deter and detect a variety of criminal activities, including intrusion onto the property, while ensuring the day-to-day business of the residence can be conducted.​​ For more information on public events please visit the WI Executive Residence Visiting and Tours page. ​

Infrastructure Security Unit: ​

The Infrastructure Security Unit (ISU) is responsible for the protection of State of Wisconsin owned, operated, and leased facilities. The team oversees and services access control, video surveillance, fire alarms, duress alarms, and intrusion systems enterprise wide. The ISU works closely with the Division of Facilities & Transportation Services. The ISU conducts risk assessments for these facilities and provides recommendations on safety and security improvements. The ISU also works with the Division of Enterprise Technology to ensure these systems are protected against cyber-attacks.​ In addition, the ISU provides safety training to state employees in the areas of active shooter preparedness, CPR, de-escalation, fire evacuation, and severe weather readiness. 

As part of our Infrastructure Security Unit, our K-9 team is comprised of a handler, Sergeant Mickael Price, and his K-9 partner, Yachi.  Yachi is the first K-9 in the State of Wisconsin to be trai​ned in vapor wake. Yachi is trained to take constant odor samples of her environme​nt and the environment which surrounds a person and/or object. This training allows Yachi to work independently of her handler rather than be dependent on handler direction. With this training Yachi is able to locate and follow a subject through large crowds until the subject is identified by her handler, and rewards her. This is what separates her from a traditional explosive detection dog. This makes Yachi uniquely qualified to conduct explosive searches of crowds during large scale events.  Yachi has been used for protective sweeps, bomb threats, suspicious packages or area searches for the presence of an explosive, firearm or ammunition round (both live and spent). Yachi is available for state wide requests for service.

Unmanned Aircraft Unit: The Wisconsin State Capitol Police operates an unmanned aircraft "drone" system as a tool for a variety of applications.  These applications include assisting the Department of Administration and other state, local, and tribal agencies with aerial photography of post-disaster damage assessments (e.g. flooding​ and tornadoes), searches for missing persons, documentation of crime scenes, traffic incident management, and other events ​​​​which may benefit from an aerial overview. 

The unmanned aircraft we operate has special features allowing use during inclement weather, increasing our ability to assist during critical life and safety incidents which occur during the winter months in Wisconsin.  

The aircraft can transmit live video feeds and photos to remote users, such as those in the State Emergency Operations Center, providing a high-degree of incident awareness and assessment to state decision makers. 
The Wisconsin State Capitol Police has highly trained, experienced, and FAA licensed unmanned airc

raft pilots. Our program coordinator and pilots are the subject matter experts for other public safety agencies throughout the State of Wisconsin on this topic.

Wisconsin Drone Network

The Wisconsin State Capitol Police is a member of the Wisconsin Emergency Management Air Coordination Group.  Our role is to coordinate information between any agency who request emergency air support from an unmanned aircraft (“drone”), and a network of public safety agencies who are willing to fulfill those requests with remote pilots, crew, and aircraft.  Safety, and therefore training, is the first priority of the Wisconsin Drone Network. Wisconsin State Capitol Police personnel worked to develop the first State of Wisconsin recognized public safety drone pilot certification standard.

Click Here to download the Call-Out Procedures Poster for Communications Centers / EOC 

Click Here to apply to participate in the WI Drone Network (open to all public safety drone pilots)