Police & Fire Commission FAQ1

When must a village establish a police and fire commission?

Each village with a population of 5,500 or more that creates its own police department or fire department must establish a police and/or fire commission. See Wis. Stat. secs. 61.65(1)(b)2 & 61.65(2)(b)1. Each village with a population of 5,000 or more that creates a joint police department with another municipality must create a joint board of police commissioners. Wis. Stat. sec. 61.65(1)(b)1b. Each village with a population of 5,500 or more that creates a joint fire department with other municipalities must create a joint board of fire commissioners with those other municipalities. Sec. 61.65(2)(b)2.

The statutes further provide that any board or joint board created under sec. 61.65 is subject to the provisions of secs. 62.13(2) to (12) pertaining to the roles and functions of a board of police and fire commissioners. Sec. 61.65(3g)(d)2. Municipalities creating a joint commission may jointly determine the number of commissioners to be appointed to the joint board by each municipality and the length of the commissioners’ terms. See sec. 61.65(3g)(d)1b.

Rev. 11/11/16