Frequently Asked Questions
Before contacting us, you may find the answer to your question here. If you review this information but still don't find what you are looking for, feel free to contact us.
Where is the Cottonwood County Sheriff's Department located?
We are located at 902 5th Ave., Windom, MN 56101
My electricity is out. Who do I call?
Contact your electric company. They have dispatchers on duty.
Where can I get more info about my ATV, dirt bike, boating laws, etc.?
Visit the DNR's website at www.dnr.state.mn.us.
I'm leaving town for a few days. How do I schedule a security check?
Download or stop at the Sheriff's department and Request a Security Check form and send it to us before you leave town. Click here to download the .pdf form. You will need Adobe Acrobat Reader to view and print the form, get it here. Send your completed form to:
Cottonwood County Sheriff's Department
902 5th Ave.,
Windom, MN 56101
How do I find out about road conditions?
Call 1-800-542-0220 for road conditions, or go to www.511mn.org to get the information online. 511 helps commuters and travelers access information regarding weather-related road conditions, construction, and congestion, via the web - 24/7. You can also view live traffic camera views and access other information that may be of interest.
What should I do if I receive a harassing or threatening phone call?
If the call is life threatening, dial 911, otherwise click here.
When should I call 911?
If you have an emergency or see a crime happening. For general inquiries you can call 507-831-1375
Can I get a copy of a police report or accident report?
Many people would like to obtain copies of police reports from incidents in which they were involved, and our Records Department is happy to help you with these types of requests. While some reports may not be available if the case is still under investigation or the data is private under Minnesota's data privacy statutes, most police records can be released with a proper request.
How do I know if the reports are confidential or if they will be released to me?
If you are not sure if the reports will be released to you due to confidentiality or other issues, you can contact Kristen Porath in our Records department. She will be happy to answer your questions about the release of the police reports you are requesting. You can reach Kristen at: firstname.lastname@example.org or 507-831-1375.
Is there a fee to obtain police reports or other records?
To offset the cost of transcribing, copying, and printing records that have been requested from our office, a nominal fee is charged for various records:
- Accident Report: $5
- Military Background Check: $5
- Local Records Check: $5
- Permit to Carry: $100
- Job Application Fingerprinting: $10
My neighbor's dog barks all the time. What can I do?
There are no state law or County ordinance prohibiting barking dogs. If you live in the Cities of Windom, Mt. Lake or Westbrook you might want to ask the local police department to listen to the barking dogs because if it is bad enough it might be considered a public nuisance under a city ordinance. In the other cities or in the rural areas we recommend that you politely tell your neighbor about it, as they may not be aware that the barking is bothering you. If the barking is bad enough, you could consult an attorney about bringing on some civil action against the owner.
There is a dog running loose. Will the Sheriff's Office pick it up?
Under Minn. Stat. 347.50 through 347.56 there are laws in regard to dangerous dogs and those laws define dangerous dogs as a dog that has, without provocation inflicted substantial bodily harm on a human being or killed a domestic animal without provocation. Minn. Stat, 347.04 provides that any dog that habitually worries, chases or molests teams or persons traveling peaceably on the public road is a public nuisance and provides a procedure for dealing with such dogs in the district court. Beyond that, the Sheriff's Department does not normally pick up dogs unless they are causing a nuisance such as defecating, digging or damaging your yard and/or appears to be aggressive towards you and others and the owner is not known. If the owner is known, a deputy will be dispatched to your residence if you want the owners of the dog to be issued a citation. The deputy will only issue a citation based upon your written statement.
The ex has not returned the child from a court ordered visitation on time. What can I do?
The Sheriff's Office cannot be involved in enforcing normal Family Court Orders for visitation unless a Court has specifically directed the Sheriff's Department to do so. It is probably advisable for you to contact your attorney or go into Court on you own to ask the Court for a further Court Order in regard to visitation.
I have custody of my child by court order and the other party takes the child and refuses to return the child. What can I do?
There are different forms of custody including legal custody and physical custody. Visitation is not custody. The Sheriff's Office cannot get directly involved in attempting to enforce these types of disputes unless you have obtained an Order from the Court specifically directing the Sheriff's Office to take action. However, we understand that these situations can be very difficult and emotional. An attorney may be able to help you. You can certainly contact the Sheriff's Office if you would like the matter documented for you to bring to your attorney at a later time.
Where is the jail located?
The jail is part of the sheriff's office building, which is located at 902 5th Ave., Windom, MN 56101. Click here to view a map of our location. To get to the jail, enter the sheriff's office lobby area and go to the front window, as jail personnel will be able to help you once you get to the window.
Can I talk to an inmate at the jail by telephone?
Inmates are generally allowed regular use of the telephone, once they have completed the booking process. Under normal circumstances they can call out of the jail, although they will need to call collect or use a telephone calling card. You can also call a special number at the jail to leave a message for an inmate. Inmates will be able to check their messages on a regular basis. The number to call to leave a message for an inmate is 507-831-0033.
How do I become a police officer or deputy sheriff?
The Minnesota Peace Officer Standards and Training (POST) Board requires all newly-licensed Minnesota police officers to either have a.) at least a two-year college degree, or b.) experience as a police officer in another state or the armed forces. All peace officer candidates must then pass a state licensing exam and attend a minimum of 48 hours of continuing education every three years. Candidates with certain criminal convictions are barred from becoming peace officers in Minnesota. For more information on becoming a Minnesota peace officer, click here to visit POST Board website.