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Governor Scott Walker has proclaimed September as the Wisconsin State Patrol 75th Anniversary Month. On September 1, 1939, the Wisconsin Legislature created the Motor Vehicle Department’s Inspection and Enforcement Division, which would grow and evolve into the State Patrol.
The Governor’s proclamation notes that “for 75 years, the men and women of the Wisconsin State Patrol have diligently improved traffic safety in order to save lives, prevent injuries and maintain an efficient highway transportation system.”
In addition to keeping highways safe, the State Patrol currently provides an array of services including:
• Safety inspections of large trucks, buses, motor coaches, and ambulances
• Enforcement of commercial motor vehicles’ weight limits
• Crash reconstructions and crime-scene mapping
• Surveillance, search and rescue assistance, and traffic enforcement using aircraft
• Interdiction of criminal activity and drug-smuggling
• Testing and approval of equipment to enforce drunken driving laws
• Statewide communications network for law enforcement
• Disbursement of federal funding to other law enforcement agencies and organizations for traffic safety enforcement and education
As a division of the Wisconsin Department of Transportation, the State Patrol has approximately 489 sworn law enforcement officers and 166 non-sworn support staff members, who are assigned statewide. The primary State Patrol headquarters facilities are located in Madison, DeForest, Tomah, Waukesha, Fond du Lac, Wausau, Eau Claire and Spooner. The State Patrol also operates its training academy at Fort McCoy and has officers stationed at the WisDOT State Traffic Operations Center (STOC) in Milwaukee.
More information about the State Patrol’s 75th anniversary, including a video of the agency’s history, is available at the WisDOT website (www.dot.wi.gov/statepatrol/anniversary/).