July 18, 2012

Green Bay votes to keep sex offender residency ordinance, beefs it up

7-18-2012 Wisconsin:

After months of debate and discussion, the Green Bay City Council voted against the wishes of police and is keeping its sex offender residency ordinance on the books. Law enforcement says the ordinance in a contributing factor in an increasing number of child sex offenders living underground and not reporting where the live.

They are required to go before the city’s Sex Offender Residency Board to get approval to live in the city. Police say it’s too restrictive, and eliminated 95% of the city. But board member, Dave Gerondale says it is working, because it’s about opportunity, and no one wants a sex offender living near schools or park. He also added that the board approves around 60% of residency appeals.

Brown County District Attorney David Lasse says there is no correlation to where a sex offender lives and where they would reoffend. Lasse says before the residency ordinance was put in place five years ago, referral cases of non-compliance was on average 14 cases a year. Now it’s upwards of 40 cases a year.

Police, the city attorney’s office, the state Department of Justice, and other experts say the residency ordinance is not working in the sense of knowing where sex offenders live in the city. Law enforcement wanted a repeal of the ordinance and replaced with a proximity ban on where child sex offenders can go in relation to kids at places like schools and parks.

They argued if they know where sex offenders live and with the new community policing model, that has regular officers patrolling areas, they would be better positioned to protect children from sex offenders. But the city council voted 7-5 to instead just add the proximity proposal to the current ordinance.

They also beefed up the current ordinance by requiring violent child sex offenders to have to come before the board if they are planning on living at their parents’ house. Previously, if their parents had lived at their Green Bay residence for two years, child sex offenders in general, would not be required to go before the board for approval. ..Source.. by WTAQ.com

No comments: