Filing a Complaint

The UW–Madison Police Department takes complaints against our officers very seriously. If you have a complaint against a UWPD officer or staff member, please fill out the form below completely. A supervisor will follow-up with you once you submit the form. Please note fields marked with an asterisk (*) are required and cannot be left blank.

PLEASE NOTE: this form is ONLY to be used for personnel complaints related to the actions of police officers employed by the UW–Madison Police Department. This form is NOT for general inquiries, questions, suggestions, filing police reports, etc. For general inquiries, please send us an email or call 608-264-2677. To file a police report, you must call our dispatch center at 608-264-2677.

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Common Questions about Complaints

Does Making a Complaint Address my Citation or Arrest?
No, this is NOT a forum to challenge a citation or arrest. That must be done in a court-of-law utilizing the court date you were given at the time of the arrest or citation.

How are Written Complaints Resolved?
The personnel lieutenant will review written complaints received and forward the complaint to the appropriate captain. The captain will review the complaint and assign the complaint for follow-up, as appropriate. The supervisor following-up on the complaint will investigate the facts of the complaint and will likely interview you and any identified witnesses as well as the officer involved. The supervisor will also review other information available regarding the incident — such as audio or video recordings and police reports. Upon completion of the investigation, the report is forwarded to the appropriate captain review with an assistant chief. For serious violations, the Chief of Police will also review the report. When appropriate, the internal disciplinary process will be used to preserve the employee’s due process rights. A captain or higher level will communicate the findings of the complaint to you in writing.

The UW–Madison Police Department tries to make sure we respond in a timely manner to complaints. If a significant amount of time has passed and you have not heard about the status of your complaint, please UWPD at 608-264-2677 and ask to speak to the Personnel Lieutenant.

Is There A Penalty for Filing a False Complaint?
Yes, Wisconsin State Statute 946.66 states that filing a false report of police misconduct with a law enforcement agency is a criminal offense. This state statute is not meant to inhibit the reporting of legitimate complaints — it’s for the discouragement of intentionally bringing false complaints against law enforcement personnel.