Police & Fire Commission FAQ 1

When must a village establish a police and fire commission?

A 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. Wis. Stat. §§ 61.65(1)(b) 2, 61.65(2) (b)1.

A 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. § 61.65(1) (b)1.b.

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. § 61.65(2)(b)2. The statutes further provide that any board or joint board created under § 61.65 is subject to the provisions of §§ 62.13(2) to (12) pertaining to the roles and functions of a board of police and fire commissioners. § 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. § 61.65(3g)(d)1.b. 

(rev. 8/19)