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Why a Police Officer Started Traveling with the Wisconsin Volleyball Team | Wisconsin

The UW-Madison Police Department has sent an officer out on the street with the University of Wisconsin volleyball team since private photos and videos of players were circulated online in October.

There was no specific incident or threat that triggered the additional security resources, said Marc Lovicott, UWPD executive director of communications.

“Our presence on the street with the volleyball team is out of caution,” Lovicott said.

A UWPD officer has occasionally accompanied the team in previous seasons, but primarily in the postseason. The athletic department requested the details of the October incident, Lovicott said.

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He said the UWPD’s investigation into the sharing of images and videos captured on a team member’s phone is continuing. A UW statement in October said police were investigating the situation for “multiple crimes.” According to the school, no member of the volleyball team has been accused of any wrongdoing.

The investigation is likely to be lengthy, Lovicott said in October, because identifying individuals involved in potential cybercrime is complex.

UW, in an Oct. 19 statement, condemned the “unauthorized sharing” of images and videos, some containing nudity, as “a material and unlawful invasion of student-athletes’ privacy.”

Lovicott said the UWPD and the athletic department had discussed increasing road safety levels prior to the incident because of the team’s success and notoriety.

Officers regularly accompany some Badgers teams on road trips, Lovicott said, and the athletic department pays for travel expenses and labor hours.

A sports department spokesman declined to comment on whether additional security measures have been added since the photos and videos were shared.

The third-ranked Badgers are scheduled to finish the regular season with games Friday in Nebraska and Saturday in Ohio State.