registered sex offenders 100% compliance rate

At our city council meeting last week, Police Chief Beiderwieden gave us a report of the status of sex offenders living in De Pere. Before I discuss his report, some quick history. At our March 19, 2013 city council meeting, we voted to repeal our sex offender residency ordinance. Simply put, sex offenders can live anywhere in the city. You can read all the details and reasoning in my February 5, 2013 blog post. On the surface this may not seem safe, but we followed the recommendations of many authorities, including the sex offender field supervisor from the state Department of Corrections and Chief Beiderwieden. We did this and our city is safer for it.

Now, this is definitely one of those blog posts where you should really stop here and watch the video of the chief giving his report (it starts about 36 minutes into the video). You should also read his two-page report which is part of the agenda packet for our April 4, 2018 meeting.

Assuming you’ve read the report and watched the video, I just want to highlight two points that the chief made. First, he said, “we have 100% compliance rate with the people that have registered with the sex offender registration program.” This is significant, as this was our intent from the start. In a March 20, 2013 interview with WBAY Ch 2, De Pere Police Officer Jedd Bradley said, “we know where they are, we have always known where they are, we will continue to know where they are.” This was the main factor that experts told us will keep us safe.

Second, I asked the chief about the situation where a sex offender really wants to live in Green Bay, for example, but their ordinance is too restrictive. To that, Chief Beidewieden said this about De Pere, “they register here legally and perfectly, and then they live somewhere else; and that’s the problem that Green Bay’s having (and others), that they don’t have the compliance rate that we do because we know where the people are.” Chief Beiderwieden clarified that while this situation is not ideal, it’s not a safety issue for De Pere residents; it’s a problem for Green Bay (because that’s where the sex offender is). And by pointing this out, I simply want to illustrate the fact that while some people think that Green Bay and other neighboring communities are safer because they have a sex offender residency ordinance and we don’t, it’s just not true.

If you ask the De Pere Police Chief today if he knows where every sex offender in the city is, he’ll say “yes”. If you don’t live in De Pere, ask your police department the same question.

See also the sex offender registry stats that I maintain.