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Central District Blotter

Introduction to the Violent Crime Unit

July 6, 2016 3:29 PM

The Violent Crime Unit or VCU, is a specialty unit formed within the Investigative Services Unit.  The unit began in February 2015 and consists of one Detective Sergeant, six detectives and one agent with the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco and Firearms (ATF).  VCU works closely with the Dane County District Attorney's Office and the United States Attorney's Office in the Western District of Wisconsin to ensure the most effective, coordinated prosecutions.  We also share information and collaborate with other jurisdictions when case investigations cross jurisdictional boundaries. 


Violent Crime Unit Mission

With a City-wide approach, the mission of the Violent Crime Unit (VCU) is to reduce violent crime in the City of Madison; improve overall quality of service to the community; identify persons connected with repeated acts of violence and successfully prosecute those offenders.


VCU Investigative Responsibilities

The VCU will be responsible for investigating the following crimes (depending on available resources within the unit at that particular time):


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Attempted Homicides

Armed Home Invasions

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Violent Pattern Felonies-Armed Robberies, Strong Armed Robberies, Weapons Offenses, etc.

Chief's Discretion (High profile cases and others)


This year has seen unprecedented gun violence cases in Madison in the first six months of the year.  As a result, VCU is currently working on two home invasions/shootings, two attempted homicides and four homicides.  Six arrests have been made in these cases, but much more work continues to be done to ensure prosecutions.  Detectives are also working closely with other jurisdictions on related cases. 


We also work in partnership with the Dane County District Attorney's Office Crime Response Program to ensure that the victims and/or their families are connected with support services and help to navigate the sometimes confusing and overwhelming judicial system. 


Our goal is to ensure the safety of Madison's residents and all those who come to work, play and otherwise enjoy this beautiful city. 


Det. Diane Nachtigal

Violent Crime Unit Detective-Central District Liaison


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