The Wisconsin State Patrol was first created in 1939 by the state's legislature and was the first law enforcement agency there with statewide powers. In the beginning, it was known as the "Motor Vehicle Department." One of the divisions of the department was the "Inspection and Enforcement" division, which later became known as the Wisconsin State patrol.

Divisions of Wisconsin Police

The Wisconsin Police have several divisions: Enforcement, Inspections, Recruitment, Specialized Services and Outreach and Education.

Under the Enforcement Division, the troopers focus on a Law of the month for public education. They also enforce motor carrier laws, issue citation deposits and fines and oversee the aircraft and motorcycle programs. The Inspection Division inspects school buses, motor buses, ambulances, homemade and human service vehicles, farm vehicles and also issue salvage titles. This division also enforces size-weight laws and the Motor Carrier Safety Assistance Program.

The Specialized Services Division provides alcohol and drug testing for all law enforcement agencies throughout the state. It also provides communication networks so that agencies and officers can utilize voice and data methods of communicating more efficiently among one another. The Dignitary Protection Unit falls under this division as well, and provides necessary security and protection of the Governor, his/her family and staff and the Executive Residence.

Requesting Wisconsin Police Records

The Wisconsin Department of Justice maintains and provides all police records and criminal history information for the state based on fingerprint entries. Information in this database includes arrests, charges, prosecution information, court decisions, sentencing, incarceration and release details. This information is comprised of data provided by all law enforcement agencies throughout the state.

Name-based checks for police records and criminal histories in Wisconsin are available online, but run the risk of false positives or negatives because they aren't as accurate as fingerprint checks. All that is needed is a full name and date of birth, but no other personal information such as Social Security information is disclosed in these records.