|(Editor’s note: “SPOTLIGHT” is a continuing series
about tenant activities and missions at Fort McCoy.)
What is it?
The Wisconsin State Patrol Academy (WSPA) provides comprehensive
training, with an emphasis on highway safety, for experienced State
Patrol officers as well as new recruits who become troopers or
inspectors. Other local, state and federal law-enforcement agencies also
participate in training courses conducted at the academy.
Inspector Tom Tweedy demonstrates how to inspect working
equipment on tractor-trailers during a Truck Law Enforcement
class at the Wisconsin State Patrol Academy at Fort McCoy. The class
teaches State Patrol and county municipal officers commercial
vehicle regulations and how to spot violations.
(Photo by Theresa Fitzgerald)
The academy, a division of the State Patrol, falls under the
Wisconsin Department of Transportation located in Madison, Wis., and
employs 11 full-time personnel. The State Patrol was established Sept.
1, 1939, with the creation of the Motor Vehicle Department, which
included an enforcement division to execute traffic laws and regulate
commercial motor carriers.
First establishing its presence at Fort McCoy in 1955, the WSPA is the
longest-serving tenant activity on the installation.
Situated on 50 acres, the WSPA’s facility contains administrative
offices, six classrooms, a food-service and dining area, an 80-room
dormitory, an indoor firing range, a multi-purpose room, and a
conference/meeting room. Adjacent to the academy is the Emergency
Vehicle Operations Course (EVOC). The EVOC occupies 33 of the academy’s
50 acres and is used for vehicle training courses such as First
Responder Practical Scenarios, Traffic Direction, Pursuit Operations,
and Vehicle Contacts.
The WSPA customers are state, federal, city and county officers,
Department of Motor Vehicle dispatchers, and Department of Natural
Resources (DNR), Department of Justice (DOJ), the FBI and Great Lakes
Indian Fish & Wildlife Commission personnel.
What have they done?
In 2011 the State Patrol began training new recruits to join its ranks
for the first time since 2008. After 23 weeks of training at the
academy, 32 cadets in the 58th Recruit Class graduated in March 2012.
The new troopers or inspectors were needed to fill vacancies within the
The number of students trained at the WSPA during fiscal year (FY) 11
was 4,992, and 5,150 students were trained during FY 12. Approximately
150 training programs and conferences are conducted every year at the
facility. The staff facilitates and assists other law-enforcement
agencies conducting training at the academy.
Every weekend during the summer months, the EVOC is used by A
Brotherhood Against Totalitarian Enactments (ABATE) of Wisconsin to
teach the Safe Rider Course to new motorcyclists. Military units
training on Fort McCoy also use the EVOC for driver training.
The academy has participated in installation events, including the
annual Armed Forces Day Open House and Safety Day, by providing
demonstrations and displays such as the Transportable High-End Rider
What do they have planned?
The academy plans to broaden training for other agencies, such as the
DOJ, DNR and FBI.
In particular, detectives and inspectors train the DOJ to conduct
criminal investigations dealing with murders, robberies and drugs.
The days of only offering basic recruit courses are gone; the diversity
of training has grown to include courses such as Basic Crash
Investigation Course, Technical Crash Investigation I Course, and Police
Firearms Instructor to name a few. If the state budget allows, the
academy plans to conduct another recruit class in 2013.
Why are they important?
The WSPA staff and faculty present a variety of formal training programs
to all law-enforcement agencies throughout the year, ranging in scope
from basic to in-service to specialized training in technical subjects.
The education and training conducted at the academy provides troopers
and inspectors with the skills needed to keep Wisconsin highways safe.
For more information about the WSPA, call 608-269-2500. Information also
is available at the website