How many officers work for the Windom Police Department?
The Windom Police Department employs 9 sworn officers: 1 Chief, 1 Assistant Chief, 1 Investigator, 6 Patrol Officers and a School Resource Officer.
Patch Collectors - Do you give out shoulder patches?
Sorry, we do not give out new or used shoulder patches. Good luck with your collection.
Where can I find a copy of City Ordinances
See Ordinances on the City Website
My vehicle has been impounded. What do I do?
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.
I need a copy of my Accident/Police Report?
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.
Copies of Motor Vehicle or Driver’s License Records
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.
I need to obtain a Criminal History Report
I have questions about the Predatory Offender Program.
The Windom Police Department is releasing the following information pursuant to Minnesota statute 244.052.
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.
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.).
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.
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.
What is the curfew for anyone under age 18?
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.
Dog & Cat License Information
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. 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.
Where is the Cottonwood County Courthouse?
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.
What are the Firearms and Weapons Ordinances in Windom?
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.
What are the rules for Snowmobiles and Operators
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.
Can I shoot Fireworks in Windom?
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.
City Licenses - Solicitiors, liquor, etc
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.
Where can I get my Driver’s License?
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.
How can belongings/property be protected?
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.
What do I need to do to organize a block party?
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.
While residents and businesses in Windom are generous, giving money to panhandlers can have unintended consequences and does not provide long-term solutions for those in need. Many communities experience panhandlers. The courts have ruled that panhandlers are protected by the First Amendment and may stand passively and display their signs. However, they may not behave aggressively or interfere with traffic flow. If you notice aggressive behavior or interference with traffic, please call 911 so an officer may respond. The Windom Police Department takes a proactive and compassionate approach with panhandlers. The department works hard to connect them with local resources for help.
Tips for Responding to Panhandling
If you are approached by a panhandler or someone soliciting money, the following tips may be helpful:
- Do not provide money to panhandlers. Politely say no or sorry. Pulling out your purse or wallet can also make you a potential victim of a crime.
- Another option, for those who feel comfortable, is to carry a bag with some food and basic hygiene supplies that you could hand out to those in need instead of giving money.
- Aggressive panhandling is illegal. If you feel threatened, call 911. Examples of aggressive behavior include:
- Confronting someone in a way that would cause a reasonable person to fear bodily harm.
- Touching someone without their consent.
- Continuing to panhandle or follow someone after they have refused to give money.
- Intentionally blocking or interfering with the safe passage of a person or vehicle.
- Using obscene or abusive language toward someone while attempting to panhandle.
- Acting with intent to intimidate someone into giving money.
- If you would like to help people in need, donate wisely to the organizations that exist to help them. You can get the most positive results from your donation if you donate to charitable organizations.
These organizations provide a food resources, assist with housing needs, and assess physical and mental health needs. There are also organizations that help support long-term solutions. A few resources for panhandlers and homeless people include:
- Des Moines Valley Health and Human Services — Resource and Referral Guides
- Southwest Crisis Center 24 hour Safe Line 800-376-4311 http://www.mnswcc.org
- American Red Cross 507-387-6664 http://www.redcross.org/
- Emergency & Community Health Outreach http://www.echominnesota.org/
- Cottonwood County Area Sharing Center – 507-822-7210
- United Community Action Partnership — http://unitedcapmn.org
- Southwest Minnesota Continuum of Care http://swmnhousinghelp.org/
- Outfront.org https://www.outfront.org/homelessness-shelter-organizations
- United Way 2-1-1 provides referrals to resources and assistance for many issues. Call 211, or 651-291-0211. 211 is available 24 hours a day, every day.
Options for Businesses and Property Owners
Businesses and property owners can order panhandlers off their property and the police will assist in the notification and removal process. Additionally, police staff can give written notice that those parties may not return in accordance with Minnesota State Statute 609.605 Trespassing. This law states a person is in violation of state law if the person:
- Trespasses on the premises of another and, without claim of right, refuses to depart from the premises on demand of the lawful possessor.
- Occupies or enters the dwelling or locked or posted building of another, without claim of right or consent of the owner or the consent of one who has the right to give consent, except in an emergency situation.
People who violate the statute after notice are in violation of a misdemeanor punishable by up to 90 days in jail and/or $1,000 fine.
If you have further questions about panhandling in Windom please contact the Windom Police Department at 507-831-6134