FAQ's

What should I do if I am stopped by police?

Frequently in the course of carrying out their duties in law enforcement, it becomes necessary for police officers to stop a person and make an inquiry such as:

  • What is your name?
  • What is your address?
  • Do you have any identification?

But sometimes a very routine encounter may cause a person to feel intimidated or to respond in a manner, which gives rise to conflict or suspicion.

The Kiel Police Department strives to provide service to everyone in the community fairly and equally. We hope that the information on this page will be helpful in explaining why an officer may have to stop and question a citizen and reduce elements of conflict when confronted by an officer.

It will explain what to expect if a police officer stops you for questioning and also provide some guidelines on how to respond to the questioning process. You are cautioned, however, that this is not a legal advisory.

Why Question?

When law enforcement representatives question a person, there are underlying reasons. They may be checking out a complaint phoned into police by someone in the neighborhood. They may have received a report of some criminal activity which has just occurred in the area. Your presence might indicate that you are a potential witness who would be able to provide valuable information in an investigation. In some cases the officers' observations might lead them to think you are having trouble and need assistance.

The best way for them to clarify the situation is to ask questions. With all due respect to citizens' rights, officers have a responsibility to properly investigate matters which may threaten public safety or involve breaking the law. Their questions are not necessarily an accusation, and your cooperative response can alleviate potential conflict.

If The Police Stop You...On The Street

Sometimes problems arise when it seems as if a police officer has stopped to question you for what appears to be no reason at all. Since the time factor may be crucial in investigating a possible crime, police officers are trained to observe and evaluate a situation and to act if they have a reasonable suspicion that you may in some way be involved in an incident.

There are many factors that officer's take into consideration in determining if they have a reasonable suspicion to stop and question someone. Every situation is different, but some factors they may consider are:

  • Police may have a minimal description of a suspect which you might resemble.
  • You might be in an area where a crime has just been committed.
  • Your actions appear to be suspicious (i.e. running from an area where a crime has just been committed) and you act even more suspiciously when you see the police officer.
  • Someone may have pointed you out as a suspect.

Your forthright responses, if an officer does stop and question you, will usually quickly resolve the situation. If the officer hasn't told you why you have been stopped, you may inquire.

If despite these considerations, you feel that you do not want to respond, the officer must respect your right not to answer. However, your cooperation would be most helpful in aiding a police investigation.

If The Police Stop You...In Your Car

A traffic stop is one of the most frequent encounters between citizens and police. Usually, police officers will pull a vehicle over if they have reason to believe that some offense has occurred. You may feel anxious, irritated at the delay, or concerned about a possible citation. However, officers are also concerned about possible threats to their personal safety while performing their duties

The following recommended procedures will ensure that the traffic stop can be completed quickly and safely.

When signaled by an officer, safely pull over to a place out of traffic flow. Sit calmly, with your hands visible on the steering wheel. If you have passengers, ask them to sit quietly with their hands visible. (Avoid sudden movements or ducking in the seat; these actions can unnecessarily alarm the officer.) If it is night, turn on your inside light when you pull the car over. For safety reasons, the officer will want to visually scan the cars interior before proceeding.

Do not get out of your car unless the officer asks you to step out. If you are asked to do so, comply in a calm manner. A sure way to put an officer at ease is to communicate your actions in advance by telling the officer what you will be doing before you move. Also, you can ask to see the officer's identification. If requested, you must give the officer your drivers license and vehicle registration. Tell the officer where it is before reaching for it - especially if it is tucked away in the glove box or some other unusual place.

While you may wish to clarify the circumstances of the citation, keep in mind that your guilt or innocence can only be determined in court. Arguments over or protests about the situation cannot be resolved in the street.

If The Police Come To Your Door

Usually if a police officer knocks on your door, it is for one of the following reasons:

  • To interview you or a member of your household as a witness to an incident that is being investigated.
  • To make a notification.
  • To serve an arrest warrant.
  • To serve a search and seizure warrant.
  • To make you aware of a Community Police Officer Program, or as part of a Crime Prevention Survey.

Whenever police come to your door, they should willingly provide identification and state their purpose for being there.

However, when serving a warrant, officers may dispense with the knock and announce requirement if they believe some emergency circumstances exist which necessitate a speedy or unannounced entry. Examples of such circumstances include, but are not limited to, protection of life or the possibility that evidence might be destroyed.

If the officers have a warrant, you may ask to see a copy of it. If it is an arrest warrant, it is not necessary for the warrant to be in the officers possession for them to make an arrest. You must comply with the warrant and admit the officers into your house.

An arrest warrant commands a police officer to arrest the person named in the warrant. It also authorizes the officer to search the residence of the named individual in order to locate the person to carry out the arrest. An arrest warrant does not permit the entry and search of a third party's residence for the named person without a search and seizure warrant. A search and seizure warrant is a document supported by an affidavit and signed by a judge commanding a police officer to search a specifically named premises for the property or person described in the warrant. The officer will provide the resident with a copy of the warrant after reading the contents of the warrant to them. Once the search is completed, a list of the property seized will be provided.

An officer may execute a search and seizure warrant at any time of the day. The owner or occupant does not have to be present. When this occurs, a copy of the warrant and inventory will be left at the residence in a conspicuous location.

Police officers may conduct a search without a warrant in certain situations. Two main examples of when this might occur would be in situations involving the emergency circumstances noted above or searches done with the consent of a person have authority over the property. If you consent to a search, you have the right to withdraw that consent at any time during the search. Just clearly tell the officers that you wish the search to stop.

Generally, Police Officers Will...

  • Provide their name upon request.
  • If in plain clothes, identify themselves when taking action.
  • Inform a person about the reason for being stopped or questioned.
  • Only use the amount of force necessary to effect the arrest of a suspect. Excessive force is not tolerated by the department.

Can I call 911 on my cellphone?

YES - If you call 911 by a cellular telephone, your call will be automatically routed to the closest (by distance) cell tower which in turn sends the call to the closest county sheriff's department.  Most times in the City of Kiel, this means your cellular 911 call will go to the Calumet County Sheriff's Dispatch, who in turn will transfer your call to our Manitowoc County Joint Dispatch Center.  Either way, it is important to remember that if you call 911 by cellular telephone, that you clearly state you are in the City of Kiel and give your location for our emergency services to respond accordingly. 

Why is your police car "black and white"?

The black and white design for police vehicles is without a doubt the most instantly recognizeable color scheme for a police car, so our primary reason for using that color scheme is for recognition. If a police car is to be "marked" we want it clearly identified as a police vehicle. Also, by using the alternate patterns of black and white there have been studies done which show that this pattern helps people see our squads better during inclement weather; such as fog, wind, snow, or rain.

How can I pay a citation or fine?

Payments for citations or other fines can be made:

In person: Office Hours: Mon-Fri 7:00am-5:00pm

Or by mail:

Kiel Police Department
621 Sixth Street Kiel WI, 53042

*Please include the citation number on your payment and provide your current address if it has changed.

Do I need a parking permit for the City of Kiel?

The City of Kiel only requires a parking permit for people who wish to park in the city’s municipal lot. To obtain a municipal lot permit, contact the police department for more information. There are also many restrictions for parking on city streets which are prohibited under specific conditions. To learn more about the parking restrictions, please use our link to the City of Kiel’s website and look at the information listed under city ordinance # 7.04

Can I park on my street in the winter time?

No: Parking is prohibited on city streets between the hours of 2am and 6am during the months from November 15 through March 15 on all streets and alleys. The fine for this violation is $10.00 with increases if not paid within 72 hours from the time it was issued.

What happens if I don’t pay my fine?

If you ignore your parking ticket and do not pay the fine, I will send you a letter explaining your options. If you chose to ignore those options; our department will request that your vehicle’s registration be suspended until such time when payment is made. The overall and long term costs of reinstating your registration after it has been suspended far outweighs the original cost of the parking ticket so it is in your best interest to pay the fine as soon as possible.

Where can motorized scooters be operated?

Popular new scooters can only be operated on private property

Motorized scooters cannot be registered and so cannot legally be ridden on public roads.  Motorized scooter riders can be ticketed for any traffic violation if operated on public roadways

Where can I find information about Sex Offenders?

Check out our "links" page for a direct link to Wisconsin’s Sex Offender Registry.

How do I get a copy of a police or accident report?

If you need a copy of a police report, please call or stop in at the police department to make certain the report has been completed and that it can be released to you. Reports generated by the City of Kiel Police Department are usually available within five days after the incident and can be obtained in person at the department during our business hours. There are fees associated with copies of a report and that cost is typically $.25 per page, but photo requests are more. In some instances we will require payment in advance.

I need my finger prints taken for a license I have applied for. Can I get them taken at the Kiel Police Department?

Yes, the City of Kiel Police Department does have a finger print service. Please call the office in advance to schedule an appointment during our regular business hours. There is a $5.00 fee for this service, but the fee is waived for residents of our city. People we arrest also get their finger prints free of charge. J

What are Wisconsin's new child seat laws?

As stated by the Wisconsin DOT:

Implementation of the new booster seat law

(Wisconsin Act 106)

The Child Booster Seat Law goes into effect on June 1, 2006.

  • To provide education about the new law, written warnings will be issued instead of citations for first violations during a grace period from June 1 until December 31, 2006.
  • Warnings issued during the grace period must be sent to the WisDOT.
  • Second and subsequent violations of the law before January 1, 2007, (during the grace period) are grounds for a citation.
  • On January 1, 2007, law enforcement officers will begin issuing citations for violations.

How to comply with the law:

Generally, children must be properly restrained in a child safety seat until they reach age 4 (previous requirement), and in a booster seat until age 8 (new requirement). The new law includes the following four-step progression for effective child safety protection in vehicles.

1. Rear-facing child safety seat in the back seat* is required when the child:

  • Is less than 1-year-old or;
  • Weighs less than 20 pounds.

2.  Forward-facing child safety seat in the back seat* is required when the child:

  • Is at least 1-year-old but less than 4-years-old
  • Weighs at least 20 pounds but less than 40 pounds.

3. Booster seat is required when the child:

  • Is at least 4-years-old but less than 8-years-old
  • Weighs at least 40 pounds but less than 80 pounds
  • Is not 57-inches (4 feet, 9-inches) or taller.

4. Safety belt is required when the child:

  • Is 8-years-old or older or
  • Weighs 80 or more pounds or
  • Is 57-inches or taller
  • Child safety seat must be in the back seat if the vehicle is equipped with a back seat

Exemptions:

  • Children whose body-size, physical condition or medical condition makes safety restraints unreasonable are still exempt from the booster seat and safety belt laws.
  • There no longer is a "personal needs" exemption allowing the child to be removed from a safety restraint to attend to the child’s personal needs, such as feeding or diapering, while the vehicle is moving.

Changes to mandatory safety belt law:

  • Under the new law, drivers may be cited for allowing passengers of any age to be unbelted in their vehicle (The new law removes a previous provision in the mandatory safety belt law that did not make the driver responsible for unbelted passengers age 16 or older)

For more information or answers to questions:

Contact the Wisconsin Information Network for Safety at its toll-free number by dialing 1-866-511-9467 or Web site www.BoosterSeat.gov 

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