History of the Wisconsin State Pat​rol

1957 Chevrolet cruiser

​​On September 1, 1939, the Wisconsin legislature passed a statute creating the Motor Vehicle Department, which consisted of three divisions - the new enforcement division began with 46 inspectors to enforce the state motor vehicle code and the regulating of motor carriers. This was the nucleus of the Wisconsin State Patrol.

Through the years the authorized size of the patrol has increased to the present day strength of 400 troopers and 112 inspectors.

State Patrol radio first went on the air February 1, 1943, operating station WIZR on a frequency of 31.5 megahertz. It was able to communicate with the patrol's mobile units, as well as with most of the municipal and county law enforcement short-wave stations.

Formal education instructions were started in 1955 with the establishment of a training academy. Today, State Patrol officers and federal, state and local law enforcement officers are trained in the latest techniques of traffic law enforcement at the patrol's training academy facilities at Fort McCoy.

Through the years many changes have been made, but the patrol's goal has always been and will continue to be assisting the motoring public and making Wisconsin's highways safe.

The division currently operates 12 safety and weight enforcement facilities and seven​ posts throughout the state.

The Division of State Patrol is directed by Superintendent Tim Carnahan.