NEWS & INFORMATION

WINTER PARKING RESTRICTIONS ARE IN EFFECT NOW!
No parking on any street within the city limits between the hours of 2:00 a.m. and 6:00 a.m., December 1st through April 1st inclusive.

PARKING RESTRICTIONS

No parking is allowed on state highways from 2:00 am to 6:00 am.  This includes S. Spring Street, Grand Avenue, N. Franklin Street and N. Wisconsin Street. This is in effect year-round.


CREDIT CARDS NOW ACCEPTED

The police department now accepts all major credit cards (except American Express) for payment of parking tickets, copies of reports, vehicle registrations and and registration renewals. (NOTE:  A service fee will be added.)



EMPLOYMENT OPPORTUNITY-Crossing Guards

The Port Washington Police Department is taking applications for school crossing guards. Applicants must be available to work one hour before school and/or one hour after school. Crossing guards can sign up for extra hours during summer assisting the police department with pedestrian crossing during some festivals. Starting pay is $13.15/hour. Pick up an application at PWPD. Please call 262-284-2611 with any questions.


Scam Alert - Threatening Phone Calls

The Port Washington Police Department has been receiving many fraud/scam complaints recently where the caller claims to be from the IRS, is very forceful and threatening. A reminder that you should NEVER give out personal information over the phone. Here is some additional information from the IRS:

IR-2016-14, Feb. 2, 2016

WASHINGTON — Aggressive and threatening phone calls by criminals impersonating IRS agents remain a major threat to taxpayers, headlining the annual "Dirty Dozen" list of tax scams for the 2016 filing season, the Internal Revenue Service announced today.

The IRS has seen a surge of these phone scams as scam artists threaten police arrest, deportation, license revocation and other things. The IRS reminds taxpayers to guard against all sorts of con games that arise during any filing season.

"Taxpayers across the nation face a deluge of these aggressive phone scams. Don't be fooled by callers pretending to be from the IRS in an attempt to steal your money," said IRS Commissioner John Koskinen. “We continue to say if you are surprised to be hearing from us, then you're not hearing from us.”

"There are many variations. The caller may threaten you with arrest or court action to trick you into making a payment,” Koskinen added. “Some schemes may say you're entitled to a huge refund. These all add up to trouble. Some simple tips can help protect you."

The Dirty Dozen is compiled annually by the IRS and lists a variety of common scams taxpayers may encounter any time during the year. Many of these con games peak during filing season as people prepare their tax returns or hire someone to do so.

This January, the Treasury Inspector General for Tax Administration (TIGTA) announced they have received reports of roughly 896,000 contacts since October 2013 and have become aware of over 5,000 victims who have collectively paid over $26.5 million as a result of the scam.

"The IRS continues working to warn taxpayers about phone scams and other schemes," Koskinen said. "We especially want to thank the law-enforcement community, tax professionals, consumer advocates, the states, other government agencies and particularly the Treasury Inspector General for Tax Administration for helping us in this battle against these persistent phone scams."

Protect Yourself

Scammers make unsolicited calls claiming to be IRS officials. They demand that the victim pay a bogus tax bill. They con the victim into sending cash, usually through a prepaid debit card or wire transfer. They may also leave “urgent” callback requests through phone “robo-calls,” or via aphishing email.

Many phone scams use threats to intimidate and bully a victim into paying. They may even threaten to arrest, deport or revoke the license of their victim if they don’t get the money.

Scammers often alter caller ID numbers to make it look like the IRS or another agency is calling. The callers use IRS titles and fake badge numbers to appear legitimate. They may use the victim’s name, address and other personal information to make the call sound official.

Here are five things the scammers often do but the IRS will not do. Any one of these five things is a tell-tale sign of a scam.

The IRS will never:

  Call to demand immediate payment, nor will the agency call about taxes owed without first having mailed you a bill.

  Demand that you pay taxes without giving you the opportunity to question or appeal the amount they say you owe.

  Require you to use a specific payment method for your taxes, such as a prepaid debit card.

  Ask for credit or debit card numbers over the phone.

  Threaten to bring in local police or other law-enforcement groups to have you arrested for not paying.

If you get a phone call from someone claiming to be from the IRS and asking for money, here’s what you should do:

If you don’t owe taxes, or have no reason to think that you do:

  Do not give out any information. Hang up immediately.

  Contact TIGTA to report the call. Use their “IRS Impersonation Scam Reporting” web page. You can also call 800-366-4484.

  Report it to the Federal Trade Commission. Use the “FTC Complaint Assistant” on FTC.gov. Please add "IRS Telephone Scam" in the notes.

Telephone/Internet Scams 

The Better Business Bureau (BBB) 1-703-276-0100 and the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) 1-202-326-2222 are actively taking scam reports.  If you receive a call that you suspect is a scam (someone posing as a family member in need of a large sum of money), you may report the scam to the BBB or FTC.  For more information on scams, see "September 28, 2009 Grandparent Scam" and "3/27/2009 Press Release" below.

Grandparent Scam

The Port Washington Police Department and the Wisconsin Better Business Bureau are again warning senior citizens to be aware of an ongoing telephone scam that is preying on grandparents nationwide. As recently as this past weekend a savvy, Port Washington grandparent was contacted by a scammer posing as her grandson, reporting that he had been involved in a motor vehicle accident and asking for money to help cover expenses. Fortunately, the grandparent recognized the scam for what it was, contacted the police department and didn't become another scam victim.

Generally, the scam works like this: the grandparent receives a distressed phone call from a person who they believe is their grandchild. The supposed grandchild typically explains that they are traveling in Canada or some other locale and have been arrested or involved in an auto accident and need the grandparent to wire money to post bail or pay for damages usually amounting to a few thousand dollars. While many seniors have reported the scam without falling prey to it, unfortunately, many others have been victimized. One well-meaning metro-Milwaukee grandmother sent $15,000 to scammers, thinking she was helping a grandchild who had been in an auto accident. She obtained the money by receiving two cash advances on her credit card, and borrowing money from a family friend.

Law enforcement officials are not certain how perpetrators are obtaining phone numbers for so many senior citizens across the U.S. However, it is believed that scammers are most likely calling random numbers until they happen to reach a senior citizen. The scammers' basic tactic is to pose as a grandchild and let the unsuspecting grandparent fill in the blanks. For example, the scam caller might say, "It's me, your favorite grandchild," to which the grandparent will guess the name of the grandchild it sounds the most like, and then the call proceeds from there.

To protect themselves from this scam, and other scams that may use a distressed loved-one tactic, the Better Business Bureau is advising seniors to confirm the status of the individual by calling them directly or verifying the story with other family members before taking any further action.

The Better Business Bureau also advises that any request to wire money through Western Union or Money Gram should be seen as a "red flag" and an immediate tip-off that the call may be part of a scam. Funds sent via wire transfer are hard to track once received by scammers and are usually not recoverable by law enforcement or banking officials.

For anyone victimized by this type of distressed loved-one call, the Better Business Bureau and the Port Washington Police Department recommend reporting the incident immediately to your local police department and state Attorneys General offices. If there is a request to wire money to Canada, the Canadian Anti-Fraud Call Centre has established the Phone Busters hotline and Web site to report such fraud. Reports can be filed easily online through The Canadian Anti-fraud Call Centre (formerly Phone Busters) site at: www.phonebusters.com, or by phone, toll free at, 1-888-495-8501.

IRS Scam

The Port Washington Police Department would like to warn residents of yet another Internet scam in which residents receive an email informing them of a tax refund due. The email which claims to be from the IRS, directs the recipient to a link that requests personal information, such as a Social Security number and/or credit card information.

The scheme is an attempt to trick the email recipient into disclosing their personal and financial data, a practice commonly known as "phishing" for information.

The information fraudulently obtained, is then used to steal the taxpayer's identity and financial assets. Generally, identity thieves use someone's personal data to steal his or her financial accounts, run up charges on the victim's existing credit cards, apply for new loans, credit cards, services or benefits in the victim's name and even file fraudulent tax returns.

The bogus email, which claims to come from service@irs-usa.com tells the recipient that he or she is eligible to receive a tax refund for a specified amount. It then directs the recipient to use an internet link, contained in the email to access a form to request the tax refund. The link takes the recipient to an official looking electronic form, complete with an Internal Revenue Service banner. The form at the link then asks for the personal and financial information of the recipient.

The IRS does not initiate taxpayer communications through e-mail.

If you receive an unsolicited email purporting to be from the IRS, take the following steps:


WI School Bus Law

Madison, WI – Wisconsin school buses will begin using an eight-light system beginning August 16, thanks to a law that was passed earlier this year.
The Federal Motor Vehicle Safety Standards Section 108, added four additional warning lights to school buses in 1968. The additional lamps are amber in color and inboard of the red warning lights; intended to signal an upcoming stop to drivers and overridden by the red lights and stop sign as the entry door is opened. 

Most buses in Wisconsin will be switched to this new light system, depending on the model year of the school bus. The 8-light system incorporates the use of amber lights. The amber lights will flash before the red lights as a 'Warning' that the bus is preparing to stop, similar to a traffic light. The additional lights alert vehicles traveling around a school bus that they should prepare to stop.


FIREWORKS ARE ILLEGAL

It shall be unlawful within the limits of the City for any person to sell, expose or offer for sale, use, keep or discharge, or to explode any firecracker, bottle rocket, cherry bomb, colored smoke bomb, toy cap, blank cartridge, toy pistol or cannon in which explosives are used, contrivances using explosive caps or cartridges, sparklers, display wheels, the type of balloon which requires fire underneath to propel the same, firecrackers, torpedoes, sky rockets, Roman candles, aerial salutes, American or Chinese bombs or other fireworks of like construction, or any other fireworks containing any explosives of flammable compound.


Character Counts! Communities

The Port Washington/Saukville Character Counts! Communities has a new website. Please visit them at pwsccc.org.

Take Our Community Survey

The Port Washington Police Department encourages citizens to take our Community Survey.  Please Click Here to participate.

Contesting A Parking Ticket

The Port Washington Police Department now offers a way for you to contest a parking ticket received from our department. Please click here.

Med-Return Drug Collection

The Port Washington Police Department has a Medication-Return Collection unit located in the lobby of the Police Dept. building at 365 N. Wisconsin St.  Monday thru Friday during normal business hours, residents can deposit unwanted or expired prescription medications in the drop unit for proper disposal. For more information, please visit the FDA website.

Regulation of Dogs and Cats

Keeping pets is becoming increasingly popular in households across the country. Recent studies estimate that around 63 percent of all U.S. households (71.1 million) are pet owners, and more than half of those households have more than one animal. The two most popular pets are dogs and cats. People keep pets for a variety of reasons including companionship, home security, teaching responsibility and enhancing behavior among children. However, being a pet owner carries with it certain obligations and responsibilities.

Assumptions and misunderstanding of City ordinances surrounding the keeping and maintenance of pets in the City and particularly dogs in public areas, including parks and beaches has prompted this guide.

The Port Washington Police Department and the Park and Recreation Department would like to make it very clear that we encourage and welcome dog owners and their dogs in our City parks and public ways, as long as they abide by the regulations set forth governing their behavior.

To help in understanding what is expected of pet owners when they walk a dog, visit a park, beach or other public area, we have included in this guide a summary of the Port Washington Animal Regulation ordinances.

Please protect yourself, your neighbors and your community by being a considerate and responsible pet owner.

The City will take appropriate actions, including the issuance of citations, if necessary, against individuals who do not abide by the regulations governing the keeping of pets within the City.