UW-Madison WiscAlerts now provided in six languages

UWPD spokesperson Marc Lovicott says this is the first college campus in the country to provide alerts in several different languages

MADISON, Wis. — The University of Wisconsin-Madison police department will now send information about most emergencies in multiple languages, according to UWPD spokesperson Marc Lovicott.

Lovicott said this is the first college campus in the country to provide campus-wide alerts in multiple languages. The languages include English, Spanish, Hmong, Tibetan, Chinese and Nepali. Lovicott said the police department had been working on this project for a long time in an effort to close the gap in communication during emergencies.

“We knew it was an issue and the last thing that we want to do is sit on something that we know is an issue and have to do something in reaction to something bad happening,” he said.

The new system launched January 23. Lovicott said in the case of an emergency, two WiscAlerts will be sent. The first will give general information about the emergency and safety advice in English. The second will have a link to a message translated into five different languages to communicate with nonnative English speakers.

On Friday, January 31 at 1 p.m., UWPD will conduct a campus-wide test of the new WiscAlert system.

To see an example of what the WiscAlert translations will look like, click here.

To sign up for WiscAlerts, click here.