The UW–Madison Police Department provides a wide range of law enforcement and related services to the campus community—all carried out according to our values and community-oriented approaches to policing. We are proud to be a part of the UW–Madison community, a “city within a city”—and strive to hire the best and most qualified individuals to assume the great responsibility of serving and protecting our campus and nearby areas.
All of our police officers are deputized by the Dane County Sheriff’s Office and are authorized to enforce all State of Wisconsin law and Rules of the UW Board of Regents.
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Please check back soon for current openings.
Hiring & Recruitment Process
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At UWPD, we believe job success is largely dependent on expectations being clearly communicated by the department and fully accepted and understood by those who join our team. As such, we strive to provide prospective employees like you with the opportunity to learn about our department throughout the hiring and recruitment process. You are strongly encouraged to review our website for detailed information or, if necessary, to connect with a staff member if you have questions.
How to Apply
You can always check this page for an overview of current job openings at the department. However, to actually apply, you will need to visit the Jobs at UW website, create an account (if you have never applied for a job at UW–Madison) and follow the steps outlined in the job posting.
Hiring & Recruitment Process
Because of their uniqueness in carrying out the core mission of the department, we have designed a comprehensive hiring process for prospective Police Officers, Security Officers, and Law Enforcement Dispatchers. Each of the stages in this process, which are detailed here, is specifically designed to evaluate candidates within one or more of the following three performance dimensions:
- Relatability refers to a candidate’s ability to be socially dynamic by communicating effectively, resolving conflict, and working with others to achieve positive outcomes. In practice, POs, SOs, and LEDs often interact with a wide range of people within and proximate to our community and must be able to effectively establish rapport in order to be successful.
- Attention to detail refers to a candidate’s ability to organize themselves in carrying out their work from a logistical and policy-to-practice standpoint. In practice, POs, SOs, and LEDs must consistently carry out administrative tasks (i.e. reports, managing equipment) intentionally and carefully. Also, despite the breadth of policies and protocols associated with their everyday work, POs, SOs, and LEDs are expected to value care and consistency in ensuring these are applied appropriately at all times.
- Coachability refers to a candidate’s ability to receive and appropriately act upon training, coaching, and critical feedback. In practice, POs SOs and LEDs serve in capacities that can have serious consequences for our community and the public’s trust in our department. As such, our expectation is POs, SOs, and LEDs are not only eager to learn and grow professionally but are able to effectively receive critical feedback and make necessary corrections.
For positions other than Police Officer, Security Officer, and Law Enforcement Dispatcher, hiring processes and performance dimensions we evaluate may vary from what has been described here. We review these processes on an ongoing basis, so check back here for future updates.
Please note that these stages have all been adapted virtually to ensure the safety of our staff and candidates amid the COVID-19 pandemic. Throughout the hiring/recruitment process, candidates are encouraged to contact a member of the Human Resources team if they require assistance with this change of format (i.e. internet accessibility).
- Phone Interviews. Phone interviews are conducted by members of the UWPD’s Human Resources team.
- Assessment Center. The Assessment Center is a half-day set of in-person evaluations, including a panel interview, job-related simulations, and a writing skills assessment. Candidates who proceed to the next stage of the process are required to take the PXT SelectTM, a standardized assessment intended to serve as a quality check of our talent evaluations and to improve the onboarding process for candidates who are ultimately hired.
- Final Interviews. Final interviews also take place across a half-day and consist of two interviews. The first interview typically includes a combination of a direct supervisor, a senior leader with oversight over the position’s area, and a senior HR leader. The second interview is typically with the Chief and Asst. Chiefs.
Upon review of the entire process, some candidates are extended conditional offers of employment following the Final Interview stage. The number of candidates extended offers are dependent on department staffing needs and, as a result, will vary.
Although being extended a conditional offer indicates the department would like to hire a candidate, it should not be interpreted as a guarantee of employment. Before a final offer is made, candidates who receive conditional offers must submit to a background investigation, which is completed by a trained UWPD staff member. This process typically lasts about a month and includes a review of previous employment, financial history, criminal history, and an in-home interview. Candidates are also required to take psychological, medical, and drug tests during the Conditional Offer stage. Upon completion of the background investigation, packets are reviewed by senior leadership at UWPD and, if approved, a final offer of employment will be extended to the candidate.
Onboarding & Training
It’s official, you are part of the UWPD team! For POs who are not certified as law enforcement officers in the State of Wisconsin, UWPD will subsidize their completion of the state’s law enforcement academy, which lasts about 15 weeks. For POs who are already certified as well as SOs and LEDs, onboarding and training will begin your first day as a member of our team. Onboarding involves a number of administrative tasks, including arranging benefits selections, assignment of equipment, and IT-related items. It also involves connecting with a member of our HR team and setting up a future meeting to discuss how things are going for you at the department early on. From there, you begin training with several of our experienced staff members who will work with you for a period of months to ensure you are fully prepared to carry out the responsibilities associated with your role at a high level.