Wisconsin State Capitol Police: What We Do

The Wisconsin State Capitol Police have statewide jurisdiction to enforce all civil and criminal laws throughout the State of Wisconsin. We are responsible for the safety of all state employees and the security of all state owned and leased facilities. We provide protection to the Governor, family, Lieutenant Governor, and other high ranking dignitaries. We oversee special events and demonstrations that take place on state property. Our headquarters are located in the Risser Justice Center in Madison with substations in the State Capitol and the Milwaukee State Office Building. In addition to our patrol operations, we have many specialized units.

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 gatherings 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.

Support Services Section

The Wisconsin State Capitol Police have a communications center that operates 24 hours a day. They are a vital part of the division who relay information to officers and monitor alarms state wide. The Wisconsin State Capitol Police also have substantial security and access control responsibilities for DOA facilities and for many non-DOA sites. The communications center monitors alarms to non-DOA sites such as National Guard Armories, statewide Historical Society sites, the Veterans Museum, State Gaming Commission facilities, Badger State Industries/Bureau of Correction Enterprises, Department of Revenue facilities and many other locations.

Criminal Investigations Unit

The Criminal Investigations Unit 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 Investigations 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 abduction and sexual assault response teams, internet crimes against children, narcotics, financial crimes, violent crimes, tactical preparedness, mental health awareness, and evidence procedures. 

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

Dignitary Protection Unit

The Dignitary Protection Unit is responsible to provide protective services to the Governor, his family, Lieutenant Governor, and other high ranking dignitaries who work for and visit the State of Wisconsin. The Wisconsin State Capitol Police provide protection for the Governor 24 hours a day, 7 days a week, when he is located at the State Capitol or at the Executive Residence.

K-9 Unit

The K-9 unit 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 trained in vapor wake. Yachi is trained to take constant odor samples of her environment 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 aircraft 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)