State Patrol announces new toll free hotline

Posted at 12:26 PM, Jul 19, 2016
and last updated 2016-07-19 13:41:30-04

Getting ahold of the Wisconsin State Patrol just got a lot easier.  Recently, the department released a new toll-free number (1-844-847-1234) that gives users immediate access to the entire Wisconsin State Patrol.

Wisconsin Department of Transportation says this increases user accessibility to officers, making it that much easier to get a quick question answered no matter your district. Since the DOT and State Patrol work hand-in-hand to help the public, both agree using the most updated technology makes it easy for everyone.

It's the combination of numerous patrol districts across the state, eight different call lines, an aging telephone system and caller frustration that helped bring about the new toll free number. Lieutenant Nathan Clarke of the Southeast Region says, "One number, whether you're trying to get a hold of our central headquarters, or the southeast region, or way out north."

The new phone line doesn't just help callers looking for answers. State Patrol's dispatch also greatly benefit from the new system, "They can be routed from those points of information. Not tying up our dispatchers that are handling those emergency calls for service," Lt. Clarke added.

DOT's Traffic Operations Center works with State Patrol when it comes to roadway incidents and safety measures, and says they're happy the public has an easier way to reach them. Between the 511WI phone app, 511WI website, and this new number, DOT has become some what of a one stop shop.

Traffic Operations Public Information Specialist, Gina Paige adds, "As we move forward, we're constantly looking to enhance our system; and we're looking at new website updates and updates the our mobile app, to really help travelers get around better."  

Lt. Clarke said one of the biggest benefits of the new number is that it's saving tax payers money, nearly 60% more savings. The increase in communication between the department and public along with the decrease in wasted time in transfers, on hold, and wrong numbers is a vast improvement.