Use the links below to find answers to our most frequently asked questions. Don’t see the questions you have? Get in touch!

WiscAlerts/Emergency Alerts

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I’m a parent, or I'm not affiliated with the UW — but I still want to receive WiscAlerts. How can I sign up?

UW–Madison students, faculty, and staff can sign up to receive text messages in the event of an emergency. Signing up is simple and takes just a few moments. Enroll online for WiscAlerts.

The WiscAlert system allows each user (student, faculty, or staff) to have two cell phone numbers in the system — any secondary phone number can be added (for a parent, spouse, etc.). In addition, anyone may add themselves to the WiscAlert system via text. To enroll via text, just text UWALERT to 77295. This will enroll you for six months, and the system will text to remind you about it when that six months is up.

Parents and the larger community can also receive information pertaining to emergency situations on campus through the UW–Madison websiteUWPD websiteUW–Madison alerts website, UW–Madison Twitter feed, and media distribution.

How can I sign up to receive WiscAlerts?

Every “wisc.edu” email address will automatically receive WiscAlerts via email when they are issued. You cannot unsubscribe. You can add another email address to your WiscAlert profile through MyUW. You will be asked to sign-in using your NetID.

Text Messages
UWPD will text subscribers in order to reach mobile users who may be away from their computers or offices. For students, you are automatically enrolled in text alerts. All others must sign-up to opt-in. You may do so through the MyUW portal.

In addition, anyone may add themselves to the WiscAlert system via text. To enroll via text, just text UWALERT to 77295. This will enroll you for six months, and the system will text to remind you about it when that six months is up.

What are WiscAlerts?

WiscAlerts is the name for UW–Madison’s emergency notification system. The system is designed to provide information about an active emergency situation that requires the community to take immediate action in order to stay safe.

Underage Alcohol Citations

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What happens at my court appearance?

You may plead guilty, no contest, or not guilty. IF YOU PLEAD GUILTY OR NO CONTEST, your case MAY be disposed of within the guidelines set forth below, but ultimately the court commissioner retains the authority over the disposition of citations:

If you do not have any alcohol related convictions on your record, the court will impose the following:

  • NO suspension of your driver’s license.
  • The minimum forfeiture. You may be allowed time to pay. You may also arrange for community service to help pay for part of the forfeiture.

If you have any alcohol related convictions on your record, the court will impose the following:

  • The minimum forfeiture (the specific amount will depend on your record);
  • A suspension of your driver’s license or referral to an education program as an alternative to suspension of your driver’s license.

If you plead not guilty, the above policies may not apply to the disposition of your case if you are later convicted.

Will this affect my insurance?

This is up to each individual insurance company. We do not report this offense to any insurance company.

Will this charge affect employment or my job search?

On a job application, if you are asked if you have ever been convicted of a crime, the answer is NO. Underage alcohol citations are considered a civil forfeiture (like a speeding citation). This is not a criminal offense and results only in a monetary penalty.

Will this charge be listed on the Wisconsin Circuit Court Access Program (CCAP)?

Yes — this citation will be listed on the Wisconsin Circuit Court Automated Program (CCAP) for five years.

Will this charge be listed on my driver's record?

Wisconsin driver’s licenses: yes — this charge will remain on your driving record for five years. There are no points assessed against your driver’s license; it is merely used as a tool for law enforcement agencies to see if you have had a prior offense(s).

Out of state driver licenses: it’s up to each individual state. Please contact your home state’s Department of Transportation.

NOTE: Department of Transportation (DOT) underage alcohol conviction records are confidential. The DOT may not disclose information concerning a conviction or suspension as a result of an underage alcohol conviction to any person other than a court, district attorney, municipal prosecuting attorney, law enforcement agency, the underage individual or his/her parents or legal guardian (section 343.50(5) Wis. Stats.).

Can I obtain a copy of the police report?

Police reports can be obtained AFTER your initial court appearance. You may request the police report online or in person at UWPD headquarters (1429 Monroe Street, Madison). There is a fee for this report.

Can I change my court date?

Court dates cannot be changed. Underage court is SCHEDULED each Thursday at 1:30 p.m. This day/time is stipulated to us by the Courts. In the case of an emergency (a class scheduled does not constitute an emergency) please contact Court Services at 608-262-4522.

In the case of an emergency (again, a class scheduled does not constitute an emergency) please contact UWPD Court Services at 608-262-4522 and explain your situation.

Depending on the number of defendants scheduled for court, the court proceeding may last anywhere from ½ hour to 1½ hours.

Can I pay my UWPD citation online?

Yes – to pay online with credit/debit card, go to www.govpaynow.com; a service fee will be charged for the transaction. The pay location code is #5479.

To pay by phone with credit/debit card, call Toll Free 888-604-7888; a service fee will be charged for the transaction.


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Do you have a lost and found?

Yes — but only for items of significant value (cell phones, mp3 players, laptops, cash, etc.). If you lost something in a specific building, talk to the building manager first about that particular building’s lost and found. If we locate something that has personally identifiable information on it, it’s our policy to attempt to contact the owner.

If you lost or found keys on campus, contact the UW Lock Shop. After regular business hours, found keys can be dropped off in the key box located in the UWPD lobby.

How can I request a SAFEwalk team to accompany me on campus?

Visit UW Transportation Services’ SAFEwalk website for more information.

When can I get my property?

The UW–Madison Police Department requires individuals to call and set-up an appointment for the release of personal property. Please call 608-512-9532 to make an appointment with a member of our property team.

Where is the City of Madison Police Department located?

The Madison Police Department is broken down into five districts. These districts are responsible for different areas throughout the City of Madison. Their specific location is listed below:

How do I get a car seat check?

At this time, UWPD does not offer car seat check and/or installation services. Visit the UW Health Kids Safety Center website for resources.

When is the UW–Madison Police Department open?

The UW–Madison Police Department is open 24 hours a day, 7 days a week, 365 days a year.

The lobby to the UW–Madison Police Department is staffed during normal business hours, 8 a.m. to 5 p.m., Monday through Friday. If you are in need of your property, the UW–Madison property team is typically available 8 a.m. to 4 p.m., Monday through Friday. You must call in advance for property release to verify a property team member is available.

Safety on Campus

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What are the rules/regulations for concealed carry (CCW) on the UW–Madison campus?

Per state law, concealed carry of weapons by individuals who are properly permitted is allowed throughout the state, including outside on campus grounds. The law allows UW-Madison to ban all concealed weapons in:

  • Campus buildings
  • Athletic events
  • Campus events
  • Where appropriate signage has been posted

Read UW Policy 725 and UW System Administrative Policy 705 for more information about carrying weapons or firearms at University of Wisconsin institutions.

Can I carry pepper spray on campus?

There are no restrictions on campus for carrying pepper spray. A word of caution, however: while pepper spray might be a good tool that makes one feels safer, it shouldn’t act as a false sense of security. Being smart about your safety is even more important–like walking in well-lit areas, walking in groups, keeping earbuds out of your ears, etc.

Additional safety information »

Are there emergency phones on campus?

There are approximately 140 emergency phones on the UW campus, including the blue light phones (in areas like Picnic Point and the Lakeshore Path), phones in parking ramps (including elevators), and in many buildings. Click here for a list of emergency phones on campus.

These phones dial 911 directly with the push of a button, and the call is connected to the UW-Madison Police Department Communication Center. These phones are to be used for emergencies only. When the button is pressed, the dispatcher will receive the call, along with the location of the phone the call is coming from, and an officer will be sent to check the area whether or not you speak with the dispatcher. If you accidentally push the button, please remain on the phone to inform the dispatcher there is no emergency.

All emergency phones on campus are tested once per month to ensure they are working properly. If you have additional questions regarding emergency/blue light phones on campus, please contact UW–Madison Police Department Communication Manager LeAnn Krieg at 608-265-9531.

When calling 911 from a campus land line, do I need to dial “1” or “9” first?

If you are using a campus landline telephone (Centrex or VoIP phones), you do not need to dial 1 or 9 before dialing 911. However, if you do not dial the 1 or 9 for an outside line first, it may take a few seconds longer for the phone system to realize you are dialing 911 and get you connected. The important thing to remember — even if you hear a pause before the line is connected, stay on the line. If you hang up and redial, you will start the process from the beginning.


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I‘m a patch collector — does UWPD participate in a patch exchange program?

The UW–Madison Police Department only gives patches to verified sworn police officers — we cannot make any exceptions. To request a UWPD patch, send proof of your law enforcement affiliation, why you would like a patch, and your mailing address to police@uwpd.wisc.edu.

Where is it legal to rollerblade or skateboard?

Wisconsin State Statute prohibits the use of skateboards on public roadways, including all streets or bicycle ways that are part of a street on the UW campus or in the City of Madison. City of Madison Ordinance prohibits the use of rollerblades and skateboards on sidewalks that are in business districts. If in violation of UW Administrative Code 18.10(8), Play Vehicles (Skateboarding and Rollerblading) Prohibited, you will be subject to a penalty of $210.50.

View the State Statute »
View the City of Madison ordinance »

Does UWPD have the same authority as the City of Madison Police Department?

Yes – UW–Madison Police officers are deputized, giving them jurisdiction in all of Dane County. UWPD also enforces University of Wisconsin Administrative Codes and Wisconsin State Statutes.

Court Services/Records

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Where is the Dane County Courthouse located?

The Dane County Courthouse is located at 215 S. Hamilton Street which is the corner of Doty Street and S. Hamilton Street. The courthouse is a triangular building residing within that corner. View a map of the location.

What are the consequences if I’m caught with drugs?

If found in possession of marijuana, you may be subject to the UW Administrative Code Violation 18.09(36) which carries a fine of $389.50. The officer may elect to charge you with Wisconsin State Statute 961.41(3g)(e), in lieu of UW Administrative Code. State Statute carries a penalty of suspension or revocation of driving privileges for not less than six months or more than five years, a $1,000.00 fine and up to six months in jail. You may also be subject to penalties imposed by the UW, including dismissal. Students in the possession of drugs other than marijuana will be charged under Wisconsin State Statute and subject to criminal penalties.

What does a night at detox cost?

The Tellurian Detoxification Center is a facility designed to care for individuals who are in need of constant monitoring due to incapacitation from alcohol or drugs. This facility has a skilled nursing staff to care for each individual’s needs. The fee for a one-night stay can vary, but is typically around $530. The cost is not covered by most insurance companies.

I received a UW-Madison parking citation — where can I pay it?

If you received a parking citation on the UW-Madison campus, it was issued by UW Transportation Services. Please visit the Transportation Services Citation Information webpage for more information.

If you received a parking citation from the City of Madison Police Department, get more information here.

What is the fine for __________________ ?

Please click here for a current list of UW Code Violations and fines.

How can I change my court date?

Court dates cannot be changed. For emergency situations, however, please contact the UW-Madison Police Department Court Services Office at 608-262-4522.

When can I get a copy of a police report?

A copy of the police report can be requested through the Records division of the UW–Madison Police Department.

Please visit the Records section of our website for more information and costs.

What do I do if I lost my ticket?

The UW–Madison Police Department Court Services Office will be able to help you with your ticket. Staff is available Monday through Friday from 8 a.m. to 4 p.m. For more information, please call 608-262-4522.

Access Control and Physical Security

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The quality of exterior lighting at our facility concerns me. Who can I contact for assistance with this concern?

Contact the UW Electric Shop. They will send out a representative to ensure exterior lighting is within the proper specifications. They must balance the level of lighting with the Department of Administrations (DOA) guidelines for energy conservation and the Dark Sky Initiative, which addresses light pollution. You should share this concern with the facility manager for your building; they can help coordinate this process for you.

What type of locking hardware does the University allow/support for campus buildings?

Three locking systems are available for use, based on the level of your security need:

  • High security keyways (Medeco or Schlage Primus)
  • Schlage AD 200 (standalone battery operated electronic lock)
  • Andover electronic access controls (networked campus standard)

Why should my department switch to electronic access control?

Key control on the UW–Madison Campus is very difficult. Exterior doors to buildings may have hundreds of users that require “after hours” access. Electronic access control provides the flexibility to restrict users to specified hours, instantly add or remove access, remotely lock doors in the case of an emergency, alter schedules easily for exam periods, and provide alarming capability for high-security areas.

How much does it cost to get electronic access control added to my doors? (card readers and electric locks)

Costs vary depending on the location, number of doors, type of construction, etc. The UW Physical Plant Electric Shop will coordinate with the other physical plant shops to prepare an estimate for installation based on the security assessment you receive.

How do I request a security assessment of my building/area?

The UW–Madison Police Department takes pride in assisting our campus partners with taking action to protect buildings, property, and assets – helping to put into place protective and preventative measures to reduce opportunity for criminal activity. As a service to our campus community, UWPD provides security consultation and recommendations to determine individual security needs. For more information about our physical security services, please email us.

Where do I get fingerprinted?

The UW–Madison Police Department provides fingerprinting through its Access Control Office, located at our main police headquarters (1429 Monroe Street).

Learn more about fingerprinting services »

Where do I get an access card?

The UW–Madison Police Department provides access cards for people who aren’t affiliated with the university (such as visiting researchers) through our Access Control Office, located at our main police headquarters (1429 Monroe Street). The office is open Monday through Thursday, 8 a.m. to 4 p.m. Click here to learn more about access cards.

If you are affiliated with the University and need an access card, please see the Wiscard website for information.