The Windom Police Department employs 9 sworn officers: 1 Chief, 1 Assistant Chief, 1 Investigator, 6 Patrol Officers and a School Resource Officer.

See Ordinances on the City Website

In most instances, you will need to provide proof of insurance prior to release of a vehicle. You should bring your proof of insurance and a valid driver’s license to the Windom Police Department. You will also need to pay the towing bill and storage costs in CASH prior to release of the vehicle. No checks or credit cards are accepted.

To obtain a copy of a report, you will need to fill out an “Information Disclosure Request Form” which is available at the Police Department. The processing time for copies of most incident reports (other than vehicle accident reports) is typically a minimum of 5 business days.

Residents may come in person to the Windom Police Department to obtain a copy of their own motor vehicle or driving records. Bring your driver’s license or identification.

To obtain your own records – Click here, To obtain a another person’s Public Criminal History – Click here, To obtain a full Criminal History of both public and private records you must follow the BCA directions here.  (Note all links go to the Bureau of Criminal Apprehension.)

The Windom Police Department is releasing the following information pursuant to Minnesota statute 244.052.

Introduction to the Community Notification Act

Since 1991, all felony level sex offenders in Minnesota have been required to register their home address with local law enforcement in accordance with Minnesota statute 243.166. Additionally, the Minnesota Legislature passed a Community Notification Act in 1996, charging local law enforcement with the responsibility of informing the public about sex offenders living in their community. The legislature found that, “…if members of the public are provided adequate notice and information about a sex offender who has been or is about to be released from custody and who lives or will live in or near their neighborhood, the community can develop constructive plans to prepare themselves and their children for the offender’s release.”

Neither the registration nor the notification laws are retroactive, meaning any sex offender convicted before 1991 is not required to register their home address. Any sex offender released from prison before 1997 is not subject to community notification.

To search for Level III sex offenders in the State of Minnesota, see the Minnesota Department of Corrections Level 3 Predatory Offender Information website.

Facts about Sexual Violence in Minnesota

According to the Minnesota Department of Corrections, over 90% of all convicted sex offenders knew their victims (according to victim interviews) prior to sexually assaulting them. Contrary to popular belief, most sex offenders do not assault strangers. They look like anyone else. They are our friends, family members, and community leaders. They are most often people we know and trust.

In Minnesota, the most common sex offense committed by those that have gone to prison is that of child molestation. The second most common is rape, followed by incest and then sexual offenses that fall into a category listed as “other”(prostitution, pornography, etc.).

Commonly Asked Questions

If this person is so dangerous, why are they being released from prison in the first place? Minnesota is a state that has specific sentence lengths for specific crimes, known as determinate sentencing. When an offender is sentenced to prison by the judge, the length of required prison time had been previously established for that offense by the Guidelines Commission, and applies to anyone convicted of the same offense. Someone with no previous criminal offenses may have a shorter sentence than someone who has been in trouble before.

In Minnesota, people are released from prison after serving two-thirds of their sentence with the last third to be served at a workhouse, halfway house, etc. While out on work release, offenders are being monitored by probation officers. At some point, the offender will have served the sentence mandated by law and must be released from prison and/or probation. Once the sentence is finished, neither the Windom Police Department, nor the courts have the authority to tell the offender where they can live or work.

Why is this offender being placed in my neighborhood?
Sex offenders are NOT placed in any neighborhoods in the City of Windom. Once they are released from prison, they are free to live wherever they choose. Most offenders are released to the jurisdiction that originally gained conviction and is overseeing their probation. This jurisdiction cannot legally deny them residency. Offenders that want to move outside that jurisdiction must obtain permission prior to moving and may be denied residency.

More often than not, offenders chose to live where their family or friends reside, where they are close to work or have easy access to it, or where they can find affordable housing. No government institution, including the Windom Police Department,  Probation, Department of Corrections, or the courts are steering offenders as to where to live.

Who determines what offenders are subject to the Community Notification Act?
In Minnesota, 90 days prior to being released from prison, a sex offender is assigned a Re-offense Risk Level. This Risk Level is determined by the End of Confinement Review Committee (ECRC), a group of psychologists, criminal justice professionals, and victim advocates. The Risk Level assigned ultimately determines the scope of community notification.

A sex offender may be assigned a Risk Level of I, II, or III. An offender found to be a Risk Level I is considered the LEAST likely to re-offend and only local law enforcement and victims or witnesses are notified of the offenders release or relocation.

An offender found to be a Risk Level II is thought to pose a MODERATE risk of re-offense. In this case, local law enforcement, and victims or witnesses are notified of the offenders’ release or relocation, as well as any agencies that may serve a population at risk of victimization that are located near the offenders’ home. For example, if the offender victimized a child he or she had access to through a Day Care, the Windom Police Department would notify all licensed Day Cares in the vicinity of the offenders’ home. The same may be true for nursing homes, schools, etc.

An offender determined to be the MOST likely to re-offend is assigned a Risk Level III. In this case, local law enforcement, victims or witnesses, and any agencies that serve a population at risk of victimization may be notified, as well as the general public. Community Notification to the general public may take place in the form of a community meeting.

At a Community Notification meeting, the public can expect to hear a presentation consisting of general facts about the Community Notification Law, statistics about sex offenders, and specific information about the sex offender moving into or already living in the community. The public will have an opportunity to ask a panel of criminal justice professionals questions, as well as be provided educational literature. The Windom Police Department does everything it can to notify the community before an offender is released or relocates, however, this is not always possible.

In a case where an offender poses a severe risk to himself/herself and/or to the public, the Department of Corrections or a police department can petition to have an offender Civilly Committed, rather than releasing them into the general population.

Of all the registered sex offenders in Windom, the largest number of those (subject to Risk Level assignment) are Level I’s. Level II sex offenders constitute the second largest number of offenders, with Level III’s making up the smallest number – Currently Windom has only Level III offender.

What happens if a sex offender doesn’t register his or her address?
People convicted of felony level sex offenses, as of 1991, are required to register their home addresses, as well as other identifying information, with local law enforcement agencies. Sex offenders must do this upon release from prison, upon moving to Minnesota, anytime they move within Minnesota, and for 10 years or whenever their probation/parole ends (whichever is greater). Some offenders are subject to lifetime registration and offenders who work or attend school in Minnesota, regardless of whether or not they live here, must register here as well.

Failing to register ones address is considered a felony, and carries with it a mandatory minimum sentence of 1 year and 1 day in prison for a first offense. Subsequent registration violations carry additional prison time.

Personal Safety Tips

A key reason the Minnesota Legislature passed the Community Notification Act was to promote public safety. The Windom Police Department believes an informed public is a safer public. Now that you are being provided information about Level III sex offenders, we ask that you use it wisely.

Use this information as a catalyst to talk with your family about sexual violence. Assure your children that they can talk with you about questions they have about good touch versus bad touch, what to do if a stranger approaches them or if someone they know acts inappropriately towards them. Remind your children basic safety rules: never talk to strangers or accept rides from people you don’t know; watch out for common lures and tricks (a lost adult wanting directions, asking you to help look for a lost pet, offering you money, candy, toys in exchange for a favor, etc.). Teach them to use the buddy system and to listen to their instincts-if something doesn’t feel or seem right, talk to you, a teacher, or another adult they trust.

For adults, keep your windows and doors locked whether you are home or not. Some break-ins happen even when you’ve just stepped outside to water your lawn or shovel snow. If you live in a secure apartment building, do not let in people that you do not know, even if you think you may appear impolite. Remember, if they are there for a legitimate visit, their host will let them in. Consider taking a personal safety class.  Consider connecting with your neighbors as that neighbors who know each other are more likely to look out for one another.

To search for Level III sex offenders in the State of Minnesota, see the Minnesota Department of Corrections Level 3 Predatory Offender Information website.

It is unlawful for any minor person under the age of 18 to be or loiter upon the streets or public places between 11:00 p.m. and 5:00 a.m. (City Ordinance Section 10.13)

Subd. 1. Curfew – Minors Under the Age of Eighteen. 
It is unlawful for any minor person under the age of eighteen years to be or loiter upon the streets or public places between the hours of 11:00 o’clock P.M. and 5:00 o’clock A.M.

Subd. 2. Curfew – Parents and Guardians. 
It is unlawful for any parent, guardian, or other person having the legal care or custody of any minor person to allow or permit such minor person to be or loiter upon the streets or public places in violation of this Section unless such minor is accompanied by a person of lawful age having such minor person in charge.

Subd. 3. Curfew – Places of Amusement, Entertainment or Refreshment. 
It is unlawful for any person operating, or in charge of, any place of amusement, entertainment or refreshment, or other place of business, to allow or permit any minor person to be or loiter in such place in violation of this Section unless such minor is accompanied by a person of lawful age having such minor person in charge. This Subdivision shall not be construed to permit the presence, at any time, of any person under age in any place where his presence is otherwise prohibited by law.

Subd. 4. Exceptions. 
Such curfew shall not apply to any students under the age of eighteen years who are lawfully attending, going to or returning from school, church or community sponsored athletic, musical or social activities or events.

City Code requires that all dogs and cats over six months of age must have a license. All City of Windom pet licenses expire on December 31st of each year.

To renew or obtain a license for your pet, stop by City Hall at 444 9th Street or renew Online. Cost to renew your pet license is $8.00 for each unspayed female cat and dog, $5.00 for all other cats and dogs. When you apply for a license for your pet bring with you the documentation from your Veterinary Clinic that your pet was immunized for rabies.

Also, please remember it is prohibited for pets to run at large within the City of Windom. If your pet is found running at large, it will be impounded at the Cottonwood Veterinary Clinic. If the pet has a license the owner will be contacted, if the owner is unknown, a written notice will be posted for five days at City Hall. The notice will describe the pet and the place the pet was found. The pet will be released after impound and maintenance fees for each day the pet was impounded are paid. The impound fee is a flat fee of $20.00 for a licensed pet and $40.00 for an unlicensed pet, the maintenance fee per day is $10.00 for a licensed pet and $15.00 for an unlicensed pet.

If you have any questions call 831-6129, City Hall.

The Cottonwood County Courthouse is located at 900 Third Avenue in Windom, Minnesota. Traffic tickets and any other fines you may have incurred in District Court cases are paid at the Court Administrator’s Office in the Courthouse. The phone number is 507-831-4551. This is also the office where you go if you need to file for an Order for Protection or Harassment Restraining Order.

The discharge of firearms is not allowed in the City of Windom.  This includes BB guns and Airsoft guns.  Bows and arrows are also not allowed to be used unless in an official Archery range such as at the Arena.

Windom City Code states, in part, that it is illegal to operate a snowmobile on a public sidewalk or boulevards within any public right-of-way. It is also illegal to operate a snowmobile on private property without permission of the property owner.

The City of Windom wants everyone to enjoy this winter activity, but let’s do it with safety and consideration for others in mind.

Sale of fireworks is restricted to consumer fireworks approved by Minnesota Statutes and requires a permit which can be obtained from the Building & Zoning Office in City Hall. Use and possession of fireworks is limited only to consumer fireworks approved by Minnesota Statutes. Fireworks displays require a permit which must be obtained from the City Clerk’s Office.

GENERAL BUSINESS LICENSES:

The City does not issue general business licenses, but does license certain business activities, such as alcoholic beverage sales, coin-operated amusement devices, pawn brokers, precious metal dealers, vending carts, door-to-door sales, etc. Contact City Hall for information on licensing a specific activity. (507-831-6129)

The State of Minnesota, not the City, is responsible for new business licenses and registrations. The Minnesota Secretary of State’s Office files and records original and amendment documents for all business, nonprofit, foreign, banking, insurance, and professional corporations, cooperatives, limited partnerships, limited liability partnerships and limited liability companies formed or doing business in this state. It also records trademarks and assumed business names.

DRIVERS LICENSE AND MOTOR VEHICLE LICENSE/TABS/TITLES

All licensing is done through the Minnesota Department of Motor Vehicles.

Windom’s Location for Road and Knowledge Test is in the BARC Building

Contact 507-376-6551 (Tuesdays only)
Knowledge Tests — Mondays at 10am
Road Tests — Monday 8:30a – 12pm and 12:30pm – 4pm

See “Recreational Fires” link on the Fire Department’s webpage.

Take pictures of your belongings/property and mark the items with an engraver. You should also make a list of the serial numbers, makes, and models/brands of the items.

“Neighborhood Watch” is a national crime prevention program enlisting the active participation of citizens in cooperation with the Police Department to reduce incidents of crime. Your Role: You and your neighbors watch out for one another. Report any suspicious activity in your neighborhood to the Police Department.

First, you need to obtain permission from the Windom Street Department prior to closing a street for an event. After permission has been received, make arrangements with the Windom Street Department for use of their barricades to close off the street for your event. You can contact the Street Department at 507-831-6137 between the hours of 7:00 a.m. and 4:00 p.m., Monday through Friday.