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It was not red ribbon, but yellow crime scene tape that was cut outside of the new Madison Police Department (MPD) Training Center, 5702 Femrite Dr., Tuesday morning as MPD command staff joined Mayor Dave Cieslewicz and other city leaders for the official opening of the $2 million training facility.

"I'm pleased that we can now provide our world-class police department with a world-class training center," Mayor Dave Cieslewicz said. He added, "This training facility is an important investment that will provide the space and environment needed for our police department's excellent training programs."

The facility is 30,000 square feet and it will be home to the department's pre-service academy. It will also accommodate a vast array of MPD in-service training needs. Prior to the purchase of the former printing company, the MPD leased space from Madison Area Technical College (MATC).

When the MATC space was no longer available, it was determined the most effective use of tax dollars - in the long run - would be for the city to own a training facility rather than to face increasing leasing costs. Ownership also gives the MPD total control over the facility, as well as constant access.

Chief Noble Wray said the Training Center will provide the proper environment for the growth of nationally-recognized, trust-based, problem-solving policing, designed specifically for officers sworn to protect and serve the Capitol City.

"The Training Center is important to the Madison Police Department; it's important to the Madison community because our training and how we train our officers - in both pre-service and in-service - is what really has set the department apart. It is what allows us to do certain things in terms of tailoring to the issues that directly impact Madison," said Wray.

He stressed that recruiting and training high caliber recruits is vital to the department's mission; a mission he believes is intertwined with the quality of life here in Madison.

The Training Center will also accommodate a vast array of in-service needs, and will provide the ability to host cost-effective specialized training of topical interest to the greater policing community with revenue generating possibilities

Eventually the MPD hopes to renovate the existing warehouse into usable classroom and training space. There are also plans for the construction of an indoor shooting range.


  • Captain Williams, 608 266 4190