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Attorney General J.B. Van Hollen to Host News Conferences Statewide to Unveil New Crime Fighting System


The Wisconsin Crime Alert Network partners local law enforcement with Wisconsin residents and business to solve and prevent crimes, find missing people, locate stolen property, and identify and arrest suspects.


MADISON — On Tuesday, December 6, 2011, Attorney General J.B. Van Hollen will unveil the Wisconsin Crime Alert Network (WCAN), a new public safety initiative being implemented by the Division of Criminal Investigation (DCI) at the Wisconsin Department of Justice (DOJ) to help local law enforcement solve – and prevent crimes – by partnering with local businesses and residents.


Hundreds of law enforcement officers across Wisconsin already have been trained to issue free alerts either by fax, e-mail or text message to subscribers, who now may enroll online to receive alerts at a cost of $12 a year. The WCAN allows law enforcement to issue alerts quickly to targeted groups from more than 50 categories, such as pharmacies or convenience stores. Officers choose to issue those alerts to specific, affected groups across the county, a multi-county region or statewide.


Within weeks of becoming operational, dozens of alerts have been issued by member law enforcement agencies, including important information about thefts, missing people, counterfeit money and home invasions, among other incidents. In a recent theft case at a Chippewa Falls hospital, an alert went out with surveillance photos of the suspects and within a half-hour, local police were receiving tips about the identity of the main suspect, who was later arrested.


“Time is critical in any criminal investigation, and with this new system, we're giving local law enforcement another resource to protect their communities by sharing appropriate information with local businesses and residents, all of whom have a stake in building a better, safer community for their families,” Attorney General Van Hollen said. “By informing private citizens about criminal activity, law enforcement increases its eyes and ears, helping investigators catch suspects or find missing children as quickly as possible.”


Several years ago, an Amber Alert was issued for some missing children. Wisconsin's Amber Alert was re-broadcast over Minnesota's crime alert system. A member hotel recognized the photo of the suspect, alerted authorities and the children were returned home safely to Wisconsin.


On Tuesday, December 6, 2011, Attorney General Van Hollen will visit five locations to share how the public can participate. Media are encouraged to attend the news conferences at the following businesses:


Middleton - 9:00 a.m.
Middleton Ford
7520 Century Avenue

Waukesha - 10:30 a.m.
Blain's Farm and Fleet
2310 Kossow Road

Green Bay - 1:00 p.m.
Festival Foods Green Bay West
2250 West Mason Street

Wausau - 3:00 p.m.
Entrepreneurial and Education Center
100 North 72nd Avenue

Eau Claire - 5:00 p.m.
Ken Vance Auto Group
5252 State Road 93

Anyone may join the WCAN to receive alerts by enrolling at the following website:


A brochure for WCAN can be found here:


2011 file: