Sun Prairie to reconsider sex offender residency restrictions - WKOW 27: Madison, WI Breaking News, Weather and Sports

Sun Prairie to reconsider sex offender residency restrictions

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SUN PRAIRIE (WKOW) -- Sun Prairie city leaders soon will take up a proposal that will reduce the distance that registered sex offenders can live near a school, daycare center, park, playground, church or other places that children might play.

The current distance is 1,500 feet, however the council will consider reducing the distance to 500 feet following threats of a lawsuit that says the residency rules are too restrictive. 

The common council meets at 7 p.m. Tuesday, Jan. 16, 2018.

Last fall, the city of Milwaukee lifted its restrictions on where sex offenders can live.

Like Sun Prairie, Milwaukee and the 19 surrounding suburbs had ordinances on the bookis to keep sex offenders from living too close to parks and schools. 

But a judge found a similar ban in Pleasant Prairie illegal, which made Milwaukee rethink it's ordinance.

Milwaukee Alderman Michael Murphy said the city attorney warned that the current ordinance could expose taxpayers to big payouts if homeless sex offenders win a pending lawsuit over Milwaukee's ordinance, according to WISN-TV.

"The ordinance prevented really any sexual offenders from living in the city of Milwaukee. It provided only 116 homes out of the city of 600,000," Murphy said.

WISN 12 News documented how Milwaukee's ordinance resulted in hundreds of homeless sex offenders, and the state program that shuffled some from house to house to skirt the rules. Murphy said it will be safer knowing where offenders live.

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