PD News

Fireworks Regulations

​The City of Columbus Police Department would like to take this opportunity to remind everyone about the restrictions and potential dangers regarding the possession / use of fireworks.

The sale and possession of fireworks is regulated by Wis. § 167.10 and is adopted by city ordinance 42-131 and 38-70(7). Possession of restricted fireworks is allowed only to those persons / organizations that have a valid permit issued by the local government in which the fireworks are to be used. Below is a list of those items that are not restricted and a permit is not needed to buy / possess:

​ - A cap containing not more than one-quarter grain of explosive mixture, if the cap is used or possessed or sold for use in a device which prevents direct bodily contact with a cap when it is in place for explosion. - A toy snake which contains no mercury. - A model rocket engine. - A sparkler on a wire or wood stick not exceeding 36 inches in length that is designed to produce audible or visible effects or to produce audible and visible effects. - A device designed to spray out paper confetti or streamers and which contains less than one-quarter grain of explosive mixture. - A fuseless device that is designed to produce audible or visible effects or audible and visible effects, and that contains less than one-quarter grain of explosive mixture. - A device that is designed primarily to burn pyrotechnic smoke-producing mixtures, at a controlled rate, and that produces audible or visible effects, or audible and visible effects. - A cylindrical fountain that consists of one or more tubes and that is classified by the federal department of transportation as a Division 1.4 explosive, as defined in 49 CFR 173.50. - A cone fountain that is classified by the federal department of transportation as a Division 1.4 explosive, as defined in 49 CFR 173.50. - A novelty device that spins or moves on the ground.

Anyone without a proper permit in possession of any fireworks item not listed above is subject to issuance of a municipal citation which carries a minimum fine of $114.00 up to $303.00.

​A simple way to understand the law is that if it goes bang or goes up in the air, it is a restricted fireworks item.

​Anyone discharging fireworks that make loud sounds may also be subject to the restrictions under the city’s noise nuisance ordinance.

Be safe, be responsible and be considerate of others when using legal fireworks.


School Crossing Guards – Thank you!

I would like to take this opportunity to recognize and thank our school crossing guards for all their work this school year. Because of their dedication to safety, our school children and the overall community is a safer place to travel about. I hope they enjoy their summer break and we look forward to working with them again in the fall.

​ Cheryl Hoffman
​ Barb Larson
​ Christy Nelson
​ Phyllis Pauls
​ Gloria Slade
​ Margaret Smith

​ Angeline Coady
​ Jerry King
 ​Suzanne Reynosa

Law Enforcement Torch Run for Special Olympics  June 8th

The Law Enforcement Torch Run for Special Olympics will be coming through Columbus on Thursday, June 8th. Runners will start from the high school parking lot around 10:30AM. They will go past the aquatic center and into Fireman's Park. They will go up Park Ave. to Fuller St. and then down Fuller St. to Dix St. They will go up Dix St. to the Kwik Trip parking lot.

​Please come out to cheer them on!


National Police Week - Peace Officers Memorial Day (May 15th)

In 1962, President John F. Kennedy signed a proclamation which designated May 15 as Peace Officers Memorial Day and the week in which that date falls as Police Week.

This proclamation is in recognition of and to ​honor those law enforcement officers that have paid the ultimate sacrifice. There are various services in the local and state area but the largest event is held in Washington D.C at the Peace Officers Memorial site.

LE Memorial
badges with mourning band

Safe Community Grant Awarded...​

​We are pleased to announce that our department applied for and was awarded $1,000.00 from the Enbridge Safe Community Program.

The Safe Community Program supports emergency responders and public safety organizations in communities that are within Enbridge’s area of operations. Scott Suder, Manager of State Government and Stakeholder Relations, U.S. Public Affairs at Enbridge Energy presented Chief Meister with a check on October 26, 2016.

​The funds from the grant will be used to purchase police radio batteries and chargers.

Click on this photo for more info. about the Safe Community Program.

Enbridge logo

Ordinance change means buses can now use red flashing lights to merge into traffic in Columbus school zones...

The Common Council of the City of Columbus, Columbia County, Wisconsin do hereby ordain as follows:

​ 1. Article XI – School Bus Regulations is hereby created.
​ 2. Section 98-315 is hereby created as part of Article XI to now read as follows:

​ Section 98-315
​Use of Flashing Red or Amber Warning Lights. As authorized by Section 349.21(1) of the Wisconsin Statutes, all school bus operators may use flashing red or amber warning lights in all residential or business districts when pupils or other authorized passengers are to be loaded or unloaded at a location in which there are no traffic signals, and if activated, shall keep the warning lights activated until the bus is safely back in the flow of traffic. This provision applies if pupils or other authorized passengers must cross the street or highway before being loaded or after being unloaded, and when pupils or other authorized passengers are loaded or unloaded where the curb and sidewalk are laid on the same side of the road as the passengers are being picked up or let out.

School bus with flashing reds
school bus stop sign

New Law Banning Cell Phone Use in Work Zones...

Starting Oct. 1, 2016, it will be illegal to talk on a handheld mobile device while driving in a Wisconsin road work zone.

​Click here for more information.


School Students Visit CPD...​

​On Friday, September 9th we had a pleasant visit from about 15 students from Petersen Elementary School. The students were from kindergarten through grade 8. They wanted to stop in and thank us for our service to the community. They made us some great cards and a poster and left us with some care packages.

​Thank you Petersen Elementary School for visiting us!
Petersen School Visit

School Is Back In Session...

School is back in session and some of our students walk to school. Please pay attention to kids crossing near the schools and obey our school crossing guards when they are directing traffic in the school zones.

Wisconsin State Statute 346.46  Vehicles to stop at stop signs and school crossings

(2m) Every operator of a motor vehicle approaching a school crossing which is controlled by an adult school crossing guard appointed under s. 120.13 (31) or 349.215 shall follow the directions of the school crossing guard. If directed by the school crossing guard to stop, the operator shall stop the vehicle not less than 10 feet nor more than 30 feet from the school crossing and shall remain stopped until the school crossing guard directs the operator to proceed

School zone speed limits are 15 MPH

​Also pay attention to the reduced speed limits near the schools and in the designated school zones. Most are marked with official traffic signs such as the one on the right.

346.57  Speed restrictions.

(4) Fixed limits. In addition to complying with the speed restrictions imposed by subs. (2) and (3), no person shall drive a vehicle at a speed in excess of the following limits unless different limits are indicated by official traffic signs:
​ (a) Fifteen miles per hour when passing a schoolhouse at those times when children are going to or from school or are playing within the sidewalk area at or about the school.
​ (b) Fifteen miles per hour when passing an intersection or other location properly marked with a "school crossing" sign of a type approved by the department when any of the following conditions exists:
​ 1. Any child is present.
​ 2. A school crossing guard is within a crosswalk at the intersection or the other location or, if no crosswalk exists, is in the roadway at the intersection or the other location.
​ 3. A school crossing guard is placing in or removing from the roadway at or near the intersection or the other location a temporary sign or device that guides, warns, or regulates traffic.


School Zone 15 MPH
school zone flashing

Officers Test Prototype Police Bicycle...

Between June 30 and July 18, 2016 the Columbus Police Department was able to test a prototype Trek Police Edition E-Bicycle. Trek offered us the bike on loan to assist them with testing a prototype design which they are currently designing for law enforcement. Several other departments in the Madison area were also assisting with the project including UW Police, Madison Police, and Monona Police.

Officer’s Ben Ziegler and Matt Schultz are members of our department’s police bicycle unit and both had an opportunity to use the prototype bicycle. Officer Ziegler used the bike during the July 4th festivities.

​ The prototype bike featured a Bosch performance speed system battery pack which was rechargeable and could last between 25-55 miles on a single charge (This depended on what speed setting the operator chose). The speed settings included eco, tour, sport and turbo modes and would allow the operator to achieve speeds up to approximately 27 mph depending on the amount of input the operator put into pedaling. The bike was equipped with flashing red/blue lights, siren, white headlight and numerous other features offered by Trek for law enforcement.

​ Overall the officer’s experience with the bike was very positive. They were approached by several members of the community who asked questions about the bike.

​The bike was also used during regular patrol assignments in which Officer Ziegler was able to respond to calls for service in a timely manner due to the Bosch performance speed system battery back.

​Currently, the department has two Trek, Four Series police mountain bicycles that were obtained through several generous donations back in 2011.


Police Auxiliary Volunteers Needed!

​The city of Columbus Police Department is seeking volunteers to serve on the Auxiliary Police unit.​​

​Auxiliary Officers (AO’s) are volunteers who work with our sworn police officers on a variety of assignments. They assist with traffic and crowd control at various special events in the city throughout the year. AO’s also participate in training with our officers and go on ride alongs from time-to-time.

This is an opportunity to serve your community and help us in our mission of enhancing the quality of life in Columbus.​​ Below is a description of the position and the minimum qualifications.​​

Interested applicants should contact Lieutenant Roger Witthun or Officer Kelly Towne.​

Click here for the link to the position description.


trek 2
trek 3
trek 5