Letter from Wisconsin Senator Erpenbach to Capitol Police Chief Erwin

This letter was recently shared on Wisconsin Senator Jon Erpenbach’s facebook wall.

Letter to Chief Erwin regarding variance from standard policing by detaining individuals on what amounts to municipal ordinance violation.

August 6, 2013

Chief Erwin
Wisconsin State Capitol Police
2 E Main N B2
Madison, WI 53702

Dear Chief Erwin,

Today I write regarding the protocol for the issuance of citation for building rules violations in the Wisconsin State Capitol. I question that the issuance of what amounts to municipal ordinance violations, like jaywalking, requires the handcuffing, detainment and photographing of individuals.

It is my understanding that arresting someone, handcuffing them, detaining, and taking a “mug shot” is not at all standard police protocol for the issuance of municipal ordinance violations. While the Department of Administration is not a municipality, they have a set of building code which you and Secretary Huebsch have chosen to enforce with citation issuance. That is your choice; however ordinance violations are not universally or even practically enforced with the handcuffing and detainment of citizens. This is not the norm in Wisconsin for enforcement of an ordinance violation and I would like you explain the necessity of a non-conforming police protocol. Additionally, I would like to know specifically for what purpose you will use the photos you have taken of citizens and to whom these images will be shared.

Thank you for your prompt response.


State Senator,
27th District JE;jal


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