Captain Cory S. Nelson (Ret.)


Captain Cory Nelson (Ret.) is a 30-year veteran of the Madison Police Department, most recently serving as the West District Commander. During his tenure with the MPD, he served a variety of roles including a being a Patrol Officer for 9 years and a Detective for 14 years, serving mainly in Persons Crimes and Narcotics. After being promoted to Lieutenant, he was the Officer in Charge of Third Detail, in charge of the Professional Standards and Internal Affairs (PSIA) Unit, then assigned to Investigative Services and Asst. SWAT Team Commander.

While assigned to the PSIA office he revamped the way MPD handles discipline by creating a discipline process that was fully supported by the officers in the department and is in use today.

Captain Nelson was selected by the National Institute of Justice as a Law Enforcement Advancing Data and Science (LEADS) Scholar in 2015. Captain Nelson has worked recently with Dr. Cynthia Lum and Dr. Chris Koper on a violence reduction program in his district that was so successful, it was implemented city wide. He authored an article on the effort — published in the Spring 2018 edition of Translational Criminology Magazine.

Captain Nelson spoke at the 2017 IACP Conference in Philadelphia about an opiate-related criminal diversion program he started in Madison. He also works as a consultant for the US DOJ on Focused Deterrence and recently helped Memphis TN start up their own program.  He was invited to speak about Madison’s success with focused deterrence at recent Project Safe Neighborhoods conference, Violence Reduction Network conference and the US Attorney General’s conference. He is also an instructor for the WI Dept. of Justice on Internal Affairs.

Captain Nelson is a Wisconsin Command College graduate and certified WI Public Manager. He has also attended the IACP-Leadership in Police Organizations course. He has volunteered for many years with Special Olympics – Wisconsin State Games, the WI Torch Run, as well as the  Concerns for Police Survivors (COPS) Kids Camp that is held in Wisconsin each year.