Submit a Complaint

Dear Citizen:

Thank you for contacting the Madison Police Department to express your concerns. The Madison Police Department is committed to investigating complaints in an open and fair manner with determining the truth as our primary objective. To assist us with this effort, please provide as much information as possible, including specific dates, times and the names of officers involved. State the reasons you believe the officer's conduct was inappropriate and provide us with the names of witnesses and how they can be contacted. It is especially important that you provide us with your contact information as well. You may use additional paper as needed.

Your complaint and related documents are a public record and subject to disclosure upon a request for documents from the news media or any other person. The department routinely discloses summaries of complaint investigations and their dispositions to the news media.

It is also important to note that depending upon the nature of your complaint, it may not be necessary for you to submit your complaint in writing. Many citizen complaints can be more efficiently and appropriately addressed by speaking directly with the employee's Commanding Officer or Supervisor.

If you choose to submit your complaint in writing, you may mail it or drop it off in person at:

Madison Police Department
Professional Standards
211 S. Carroll Street, Room GR-21
Madison, WI 53703-3303

You may contact the Professional Standards and Internal Affairs Unit to discuss the nature of your complaint. The Internal Affairs sergeant can also answer any questions you may have about the process. The Professional Standards and Internal Affairs Unit is open Monday through Friday during regular business hours. The direct telephone line is (608) 266-6502.

You may decide to take your complaint directly to the Madison Police and Fire Commission (PFC). Forms for the purpose are available in the City Clerk's Office and the Mayor's Office. In some cases, the department or officers involved may take your complaint to the PFC. Any proceedings before the PFC are public. Documents related to PFC proceedings are public records and are generally subject to disclosure under Wisconsin Law.

Lastly, the department is required by State law to inform you that, "Whoever knowingly makes a false complaint regarding the conduct of law enforcement officer is subject to a Class A forfeiture."


Michael C. Koval, Chief of Police