Madison (WKOW) -- from WI Governor's Office: Governor Jim Doyle announced Monday that as part of his Sex Offender Apprehension and Felony Enforcement (SAFE) Initiative, retired law enforcement members and sex offender registry specialists have tracked down more than 2,500 sex offenders who have failed to comply with registry reporting requirements since the initiative began in 2005.
"We have made a great deal of progress in tracking down sex offenders so that parents, grandparents and neighbors know where these offenders are and can help keep children safe," Governor Doyle said. "Our efforts in Wisconsin make us a national leader in strategies to hold sex offenders accountable, but we must continue to do everything we can to keep our communities safe and secure from dangerous offenders."
Governor Doyle announced 2,523 noncompliant sex offenders, including 1,541 who committed crimes against minors, have been tracked down by SAFE Teams comprised of retired law enforcement professionals and sex offender registry specialists from the Department of Corrections.
Through the collaboration and proactive enforcement of the state's stringent registry laws, Wisconsin's registry compliance rate remains at 90 percent.
Wisconsin's compliance rate far outpaces the national compliance rate of 76 percent.
Governor Doyle also announced that law enforcement authorities have now located 61 of "Wisconsin's Most Wanted Sex Offenders," a list created in May 2006 to highlight the most dangerous and elusive sex offenders who have intentionally evaded the sex offender registry.
In addition, Governor Doyle unveiled the names and images of 14 additional dangerous and elusive sex offenders that meet the criteria for "Wisconsin's Most Wanted."
Offenders on "Wisconsin's Most Wanted" are selected based on a comprehensive set of criteria, including seriousness of offense, overall criminal history, history of complying with registration requirements, and other factors.
The list was developed by Governor Doyle's SAFE Task Force, a group of top law enforcement leaders from across the state.
Governor Doyle urges local law enforcement and residents across the state to view the information on the Web site and contact authorities with any information about these individuals or their whereabouts.
Governor Doyle also announced Monday that the state's Sex Offender Registry Web site will make it easier than ever this year for parents to pinpoint residences of sex offenders as they plan trick-or-treating or other Halloween-themed activities for their children.
At this site, users can enter their street address and derive a map showing the locations of registered sex offenders who report a residence in the area.
The Department of Corrections is once again prohibiting registered sex offenders who are under the Active Community Supervision from taking part in Halloween activities, such as leaving their porch lights on during trick-or-treating, answering doors to trick-or-treaters, and from attending Halloween events where children may be present.