Kevin Fischer is a veteran broadcaster, the recipient of over 150 major journalism awards from the Milwaukee Press Club, the Wisconsin Associated Press, the Northwest Broadcast News Association, the Wisconsin Bar Association, and others. He has been seen and heard on Milwaukee TV and radio stations for over three decades. A longtime aide to state Senate Republicans in the Wisconsin Legislature, Kevin can be seen offering his views on the news on the public affairs program, "InterCHANGE," on Milwaukee Public Television Channel 10, and heard filling in on Newstalk 1130 WISN. He lives with his wife, Jennifer, and their lovely young daughter, Kyla Audrey, in Franklin.
Channel 58 has been running a promo for a special investigative report it plans to air Tuesday night about sex offenders in the city of Milwaukee. Someone interviewed says in the promo that sex offenders can live in the city anywhere they want. The report will surely delve into why.
No community in Wisconsin has fought to protect itself more aggressively and passionately than Franklin so the Channel 58 “Bottom Line” report stands to be interesting. I haven’t seen it but I can tell you there’s probably nothing new in the report that’s actually old news.
Back in 2007 I blogged extensively here about this issue. After Franklin passed two sex predator ordinances that were ruled constitutional, many (over 100) other municipalities tried to follow suit. One of them was the city of Milwaukee.
Seven years ago, Milwaukee aldermen Tony Zielinski and Jim Bohl introduced a resolution to prohibit designated sex offenders from living or loitering within 2,000 feet of places in Milwaukee where children can be expected to be found. Designated sex offenders under the ordinance included persons required to register with the state under the Wisconsin Sex Offender Registry Program, for any offense against a child or any person required to register under the state sex offender program and who has been designated a “Special Bulletin Notification” sex offender. Zielinski said the ordinance would help restrict residency of designated sex offenders to protect Milwaukee children prevent the city from ending up as “a dumping ground” for sex offenders.
“We are watching the surrounding communities fall like dominoes as they restrict sex offenders from relocating to their communities and we too need our own restrictions to protect our families and our children too. I don't want Milwaukee to be a magnet for sex offenders,” said Zielinski, noting that Franklin, Glendale, and Menomonee Falls had enacted similar ordinances and other suburbs might follow.
"It is not uncommon for us to hear from concerned residents about registered sex offenders living a short distance from schools, parks or other places where children congregate, and this proposed ordinance would address those concerns," said Bohl. “Quite frankly, studies clearly show that sex offenders are very likely to be re-arrested for a new rape or sexual assault, and given the high rate of recidivism for sex offenders and the fact that reducing opportunities and temptations is important to minimizing the risk of re-offense, there is a need to protect our children where they congregate or play in public places above and beyond the protections afforded by state law near schools, day care centers and other places children frequent.”
Another Milwaukee alderman, Michael Murphy said, "Nobody wants a sex offender in their neighborhood. Unfortunately, there's 22,000 sex offenders in the state of Wisconsin, and I'd much rather know where they live than not know where they live."
But Alderman Terry Witkowski said, “What this does is make little ghettos of sex offenders that not everyone would be happy to live next to.”
Mayor Tom Barrett threatened to veto the ordinance and said he felt sorry for the districts where sex offenders could live. Aldermen acknowledged the 15-member council would not have been able to muster the 10 votes needed to override any veto.
As recently as 2012 another proposal was introduced. But nothing has been approved. So 100% of the city of Milwaukee continues to remain open to sex offenders.
Not exactly breaking news, but that’s the background. Actual news would be if a new ordinance is being proposed and what reaction to it might be.
UPDATE: THE REPORT CAN BE SEEN BELOW. WOULD HAVE BEEN INTERESTING IF CHANNEL 58'S "INVESTIGATOR" WOULD HAVE PUT HER MICROPHONE IN THE FACE OF THOSE WHO WORKED IN THE PAST TO KILL ANY TYPE OF ORDINANCE TO PROTECT CHILDREN AND FAMILIES.