Norfolk is a first-class city with a mayor/city council form of government. Residents elect the mayor and eight council members (two per ward) to four-year terms. These members, in turn, appoint the city administrator, city clerk, city attorney, planning and community development director, housing authority director, police chief, fire chief, public works director, water and sewer director, wastewater superintendent, park superintendent, street director, health director, building official, library director and finance officer.
The Norfolk Fire Division employs 31 full-time firefighters and 35 reserves. The city supports 1,200 fire hydrants and maintains a Public Safety Training Facility to provide hands-on simulated fire and rescue situations.
The Norfolk Police Division has 40 sworn officers on its payroll. Officers provide uniform patrol, criminal investigation and crime prevention—including a Drug Abuse Resistance Education program and the Motor Vehicle Accident Reduction Program—to city residents. The communications center operates on the familiar 911 response system.
The Madison County Sheriff’s Department and Troop B of the Nebraska State Patrol also provide law enforcement services such as automated fingerprint identification, riot control, jail system and traffic enforcement.
Street maintenance includes regular street sweeping, snowplows and asphalt repairs for the 132 miles of streets in Norfolk.