How Much Do Police Officers Make in Wisconsin?

March 17, 2024

Police officer salary is a huge factor for potential applicants, especially with the number of recruits and academy graduates at a ten-year low. Each police department sets its own salaries based on local norms and political influences, but some factors that influence pay include the cost of living in the area, years of service, specialty and qualifications.

In Wisconsin, a new police officer starts out on about $56,000 a year, plus a generous benefits package that includes pet insurance, uniform allowance and education incentives. In Milwaukee, future officers attend the paid police academy on a biweekly wage of $1,723. The city also offers textbook and tuition reimbursement and a pension after 25 years.

Across the state, a police officer’s starting salary can vary greatly depending on the city and the size of the department. But, in general, salaries tend to increase as an officer rises through the ranks, explains Stephen Webb, a lecturer in criminal justice at Regent University. Generally, promotions to police sergeant, lieutenant and commander come with a significant pay bump.

As a result, some officers can earn a lot more than the average Wisconsin police officer’s starting salary of $61,300. For example, a Fond du Lac police officer, Jed Martin, worked a weekly average of 34 overtime hours in 2013 and accumulated $73,611 in overtime compensation. This is the highest amount of overtime money a Wisconsin law enforcement officer has earned, according to data from 110 municipal departments obtained by Gannett’s Wisconsin Media Investigative Team.


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