The purpose of law enforcement is to control and prevent crime, thus providing a safe environment to citizens. How law enforcement delivers this purpose is of vital importance to communities. Law enforcement agencies develop a mission and a set of values in determining the type of policing that best serves its clientele. The following will explain the Wausau Police Department's Mission and it's set of Values that guides our organization.


The mission of an organization is defined as what an organization should be doing and why it exists. Determining the mission of an organization involves the process of presenting a purpose, examination of that purpose and what impact it may have on future services. Through careful examination of external and internal factors, the mission of an organization can effectively be established which reflects the goals, objectives, and values of an organization. Following these guidelines, the Wausau Police developed a mission statement incorporating our beliefs and strategies in an attempt to improve the quality of life in our community.


The Wausau Police Department strives for excellence in policing by partnering with the community to enhance the quality of life.

The Department's mission is a commitment to quality performance from all members. It is critical that members understand, accept, and are aligned with the responsibilities established by this mission. The mission provides the foundation upon which all operational decisions and organizational directives will be based.

The mission represents administration's commitment to the concepts of quality performance management. In other words, members are expected to work consistently in a quality manner in the daily performance of those duties, responsibilities, and work tasks associated with the department's mission. A quality manner signals that performance outcomes comply with the performance standards established for our agency and for each member. Each member of the department is required to accept the responsibility for the achievement of this mission and the concepts of quality service.


Values guide our organization and the behavior of our members. The Mayor, City Council Officials, community and commercial residents become aware of our organization's values through the actions of our members. Values embody our philosophy of policing and set forth our hopes for the future of our community, our profession, our department, and ourselves. We recognize that the following values, this philosophy of policing, will always be a yardstick against which we must measure ourselves, our efforts, our programs, our regulations, and our priorities. Whether appointed or civilian, full-time or part-time, paid or volunteer, we are proud to belong to this department and to adopt the following values.

  • Human Life - Above all else, the Wausau Police Department cherishes human life and dignity.
  • Excellence - The Wausau Police Department strives for personal and professional excellence, dedication to duty, and service to the public.
  • Responsiveness - The Wausau Police Department will be responsive to the needs of the community, working together to solve problems of mutual concern. We will be fair and decent, reflecting our professional ethics and values.
  • Compassion - The Wausau Police Department will show empathy and caring for victims, people who seek our help, and all people with whom we come in contact.
  • Law & Constitution - The Wausau Police Department believes in the principles embodied in the Constitution of the United States, and the Constitution of the State of Wisconsin. We recognize the authority of the federal, state, and local laws.
  • Pride - The Wausau Police Department takes pride in our Department and in our profession. We are proud of who we are and what we do. We are proud of the trust which the public places in us individually, as an agency, and in our profession.
  • Integrity - The Wausau Police Department believes that integrity is the basis for personal and public trust.
  • Cooperation - The Wausau Police Department believes that cooperation and respect among ourselves, members of the community, governmental entities, and other law enforcement agencies will enable us to combine our diverse backgrounds, skills, and styles to achieve common goals.
  • Enterprising - The Wausau Police Department will be diligent in keeping up with changing times, both in technological and human resource areas. We encourage officer creativity, while still maintaining fiscal responsibility to the community.

We realize that we will never be perfect as a department or profession, just as no one of us is always perfect in our efforts to maintain and uphold these values. We work at it from day to day, achieving small successes and learning from our failures. All of us regard it as a privilege to be entrusted with our various responsibilities as law enforcement professionals. Those of us who are called upon to carry the title of police officer realize that we are called upon to be men and women of peace in a rapidly changing and frequently troubled world. Whether we are among the few who are asked to lay down our lives or whether we are among the many who dedicate it in daily service month by month and year by year, we are proud to be members of the Wausau Police Department -- and to give our best in service, pride, and dedication.


The Wausau Police Department has established the following goals in an effort to provide the highest quality and best community service that it can offer:

  • To focus department resources toward a pro-active approach to the prevention of criminal activity within the City, in addition to detection, apprehension and prosecution of criminal offenders.
  • To implement community policing and problem-solving strategies wherever practical, and foster community participation and partnership to combat criminal activity. By working with neighborhoods, business leaders, schools, and other government agencies, the Department will actively pursue remedies to their concerns.
  • To effectively and efficiently facilitate the safe movement of vehicles, pedestrians, and bicycles on city streets. To reduce vehicle accidents through education, awareness, and selective enforcement programs designed to increase safety.
  • To work with city officials in developing strategic planning for the city as a whole, and the police department.
  • To provide a working environment that promotes employee growth and development, while ensuring high-quality, efficient and cost effective services. The Department will accomplish this through expanded use of active recruitment of applicants, career development, training opportunities and upgraded technology.


Cultural Diversity: The Wausau community is diverse in its ethnicity and sociological backgrounds. Individuals have distinctive cultural values, lifestyles, and customs. However, all persons in the City share the common needs for protection and service through objective and impartial law enforcement.

The recognition of individual dignity is vital in a free society. Since all persons are subject to the law, all persons have a right to dignified treatment under the law. The protection of this right is a fundamental responsibility of the Wausau Police Department and its members. Every Department member is responsible for treating each person with respect, mindful that people possess human emotions and needs.

Daily contact with members of our community presents a unique opportunity to strengthen police community relations. By respecting the rights of all community members, we inspire respect for ourselves as individuals, and as representatives of the Department.

Community Oriented Policing: Community policing is an organizational-wide philosophy and management approach that promotes community, government, and police partnerships, pro-active problem solving, and community relations to address the causes of crime, fear of crime, and other community issues. Community policing has two essential characteristics. The first characteristic is that of partnerships. The police department forms partnerships with community and other governmental agencies. The other important characteristic is that of problem solving. Officers learn how to scan for a problem, analyze it, find tailor made responses, and then assess their efforts. Community Policing philosophies were formally implemented in the City of Wausau in January of 1995. This philosophy built on the Wausau Police Department’s existing strong ties with the community at large.

Statement of Equal Opportunity: The Wausau Police Department strictly adheres to the City's equal opportunity policy that prohibits discrimination or harassment. The practice of equal employment is applied in all phases of police department operations, including employment practices and contact with all members of the public. Department members will not exhibit a condescending attitude or direct any derogatory remarks toward any person in any manner.


Organizational Structure: The Wausau Police Department employs an organizational structure that arranges components of the organization by function and identifies a chain of command within each component. The fundamental principles of the organization are continually evaluated within a specific framework to ensure that it continues viably with respect to accomplishing the goals of the organization in an effective and efficient manner.

The Chief of Police is responsible for developing the organizational structure of the Department in accordance with professional standards. The Chief of Police, using sound management principles and techniques, is responsible for integrating related activities under the control of commanders and supervisors; holding them accountable for effective conduct of such activities. The Department uses three levels of management, each with it's own general authority and responsibilities.

The organization under which the Wausau Police Department operates is designed to address the following objectives:

  • Establishment of clear lines of authority and responsibility.
  • Establishment of formal lines of communication within the department.
  • Provisions for a reasonable division of responsibility and workload.
  • Accountability for specific programs and activities.
  • Establishment of organizational priorities.
  • Coordination of activities and the exchange of information between organizational units.

The two major operating components of the Wausau Police Department are the Operations and Support Services Divisions. The Operations Division comprises two bureaus, patrol and investigations. The Support Services Division provides operational support through crime prevention, records management, traffic services management, and administrative assistance. A brief outline of bureau and unit functions and responsibilities are provided.

Patrol Service: Patrol service is the backbone of the Department, and is responsible for responding to calls for service. Patrol officers are expected to handle a wide variety of calls. During a week's tour of duty, an officer might be dispatched to calls involving "lost and recovered property," "domestics," "bar fights,"  "assisting a disoriented person," "family fight," "missing person," "crowd control," "shots fired," "abandoned vehicle," "drug dealing," "dog attacks," "traffic accident," "prowler," "suspicious person," "speeding motorist," "wires down," "chemical spill," "loud noise," "intrusion alarm," and so forth.

Patrol officers maintain closer contact with the public than any other section of the department, and to a large extent the public's satisfaction with the police depends on how patrol officers handle service-related calls. The patrol bureau of the department is staffed with uniformed officers responsible for providing police service twenty-four hours a day.

Investigative Bureau: The investigative bureau of the department was created to conduct investigations requiring a degree of specialization. This bureau conducts crime scene and evidence management, criminal identification, intelligence, crime analysis, undercover operations and follow up investigations.

The role of the police in the juvenile justice system, including delinquency control, is a major task of the investigative bureau. Included in delinquency control is the department's partnership with the public school system in providing school resource officers who assist students in a variety of ways with problems that concern them. The role of the school resource officer is to cooperatively work with teachers, students, and parents in a continuing effort to provide a safe environment in our schools.

Administrative Services: Administrative services are responsible for establishing policy and setting guidelines, day-to-day management of fiscal expenses, public presentations, and fostering a positive public relations effort. The administration component also focuses on personnel issues, planning, and research.

Records: Records management is responsible for receiving, processing, coding and storage of all written reports originated by department members. The record's unit acts as a resource center for information to the public and other units of the department as well as other government agencies.

Traffic: Traffic services management seeks ways and new methods that will ensure the safe and efficient movement of vehicles, bicycles, and pedestrians within the City of Wausau. Traffic management not only works closely with patrol activities, but strives to promote and maintain public and private partnerships in support of engineering, education and enforcement elements of traffic safety.


Crime Prevention: Patrol officers with additional training crime prevention bridge the gap between the Wausau Police Department and the community in an effort to reduce or remove the opportunity for crime. All officers of the department strive to identify and anticipate high risk conditions within the City and develop plans to reduce or eliminate such conditions. The patrol officers with additional crime prevention training also seeks ways to increase the awareness of crime prevention by establishing and implementing programs for the community, schools, and the department.

Bike Patrol: The Wausau Police Department began having a regularly scheduled bicycle patrol in the spring of 1995.  We have five officers trained in mountain bike patrol.  These officers, typically in the afternoon and evening, patrol in the downtown area of Wausau, a transitional neighborhood of businesses, residential rental properties, and owner occupied housing. A large part of what these officers do involves getting out in the community to interact with the residents. Bicycle patrol has proven to be an excellent tool for this purpose. An officer on a bicycle is a great deal more approachable than an officer in a patrol car. Often people, particularly youths, will approach an officer on a bicycle just to find out more about the bicycle. This enables the officer to find out more about the community.

There are numerous other benefits to officers using a bicycle as a means of patrol. The mountain bikes used by the department make it easy for officers to patrol park trails, alleyways, wooded areas, parking lots, and various other places where patrol cars are limited. Officers can easily see and hear what is happening around them, and can quickly and quietly check out things they feel are suspicious. On numerous occasions bicycle units have been able to respond to a call faster than a squad car, particularly when there is high pedestrian or traffic congestion.

Officer Friendly: Wausau Police Department Safety Officer Maureen Pilsner is "Officer Friendly". As Officer Friendly, Maureen supervises the Wausau Schools Safety Patrol, hosts "Safety City", provides important safety tips for the community, conducts safety seminars, makes regular visits to elementary schools, teaches D.A.R.E., and conducts organizes child safety seat checks.

Safety Patrol: The Wausau School System has a Safety Patrol program that enlists the aid of students to provide assistance in the crossing of streets on and around schools in the City of Wausau. Funds for this program are donated from area businesses, foundations, and residents. Safety patrol cadets are selected from volunteers who have expressed interest in the program to a school advisor. At the end of each school year, each school selects the most dedicated cadet who in turn is rewarded with a trip to Washington DC as a part of a statewide AAA Program. Three additional dedicated cadets are chosen from each school to attend the Wisconsin Congress of School Safety Patrol in the Wisconsin Dells. Both of these trips are supervised by Officer Friendly and other chaperones. A recognition program is held at the end of the school year for all cadets who have participated in the program.

Safety City: "Safety City" is a five-day (1.5 hrs per day) course for 5-6 year old children run in conjunction with the Wausau School District that teaches the importance of safety. Topics of the Safety City program include bicycle safety, pedestrian safety, poisons, stranger danger, bus safety, and gun safety. Safety City is run during the month of June at Franklin School (normally), at 8:30am, 10:30am, and 12:30pm. For more information about Safety City (including an accurate schedule), please call Officer Pilsner at (715) 261-7853 or send an e-mail.

Elementary School Visits: Officer Friendly routinely visits Wausau Elementary Schools to develop a positive rapport with area children, and to deliver important safety messages.

Bicycle Rodeos: Bicycle Rodeos are organized upon request, giving children an opportunity to demonstrate their riding skills and to have their bicycle checked for safety.

Child Car Seats: The Wausau Police Department has nine certified technicians for child passenger seats. This means that we can offer installation advice and assistance for child car seats. The car seat will be checked for recalls and defects, and then reinstalled correctly. Interested persons may contact Officer Pilsner at 261-7853 for an appointment. Please check our bulletin board on this website for car seat check locations and times.


The Department's mission, values, and goals are the basis for making operational decisions and directives. The Chief of Police seeks input from various levels of the department when implementing changes in operations. Members are encouraged to develop suggestions for improvement of existing operations and working conditions.

The Department recognizes that its single most important mission is the service it provides the community. Decisions are judged on their relevance to our mission, basing decisions and actions in a manner intended to earn public confidence. The Department recognizes the need for development and maintenance of relationships with organizations, agencies, and associations at the national, state and local level which can assist in maintaining and improving quality police services for the City of Wausau.


The administrative philosophy of the Wausau Police Department is based upon a commitment to the importance of interrelated roles within our organization structure, respect for positions of authority, and accountability. The Department is concerned with creating, stimulating, maintaining, and unifying energies which comprise the law enforcement endeavor and enable the realization of Department goals and objectives. The Department seeks to synchronize and integrate the various efforts and contributions of all members in order to produce unity in purpose and effort.

Administrative actions are directed in such a manner as to accomplish the Department purpose, and individual performances must withstand the test of evaluation according to predetermined Department objectives.


We invite you to partner with us as we strive to provide service and security to our community. You become our partner in the following manner:

  • You can participate in neighborhood groups that are concerned with safety and are springing up around our city.
  • You can write or telephone us with information, feedback, constructive criticism or suggestions.
  • You can greet and talk with our officers as you come upon them in the conduct of their duties. Your assistance and cooperation are the inspiration that motivates us to do our very best on each and every tour of duty.
  • You can volunteer. We have an active civilian Emergency Police group that assists us with crowd and traffic control at parades and large events.
  • Most of all, you can let us know how we are doing and what you expect from us. With that road map, together we can plot a great course of community service.