Students who live in some off-campus neighborhoods will be able to receive WiscAlerts for crimes in their areas while police pilot a new notification system over the next six months, the UW-Madison Police Department announced last week.
News of significant threats reported in areas bounded by Lake Street, Lake Mendota, Butler Street and Johnson Street may now be distributed through the alert system, according to police. That neighborhood is home to a high concentration of students, but previously UWPD did not distribute alerts there.
"We’ve had a few incidents in the recent past that involved weapons, those kinds of issues, occurring in the lower half of State Street, and the Langdon Street area,” UWPD Chief Kristen Roman said. “Typically what we’re looking at is those kinds of calls that might pose a potential threat to folks in those areas.”
UWPD does not plan to include Camp Randall or Mifflin Street neighborhoods in the trial.
Unlike the campus WiscAlerts — which UWPD is mandated by federal law to send out — students can sign up online to be part of the off-campus alert network. The new program will also allow parents to sign up for WiscAlerts.