All are closer to places were sex offenders can live in adjacent Milwaukee County communities than their own ordinances allow. And it's not just schools. Stroll past the playground at Greene Park in St. Francis, where the buffer zone is 2, feet and you'll be just a few hundred feet from a street in Cudahy where sex offenders are allowed, and the home of a man convicted of first degree sexual assault of a child.
Whitnall Park, near 92nd and Rawson in Hales Corners is right across the road from several streets green-lighted for sex offenders in Greendale. Alcott Park near 92nd and Howard in Milwaukee is next to a Greenfield neighborhood that's outside a safety zone. Each of these parks has a buffer zone around it -- but the municipality next door has a place where sex offenders can live that's much closer, and in most cases, a sex offender does live there and these are just the parks in Milwaukee County: Murphy wants the state to step in with a uniform standard -- the same size buffer zone everywhere.
Murphy said he's concerned communities, including his own, are using the buffer zones to banish offenders into homelessness -- leaving them on the streets -- unstable and unsupervised -- a dilemma FOX6 News has documented.
Alderman Michael Murphy A statewide standard would also create more complete safety zones that cross the municipal boundaries. Politically it's a very dicey one for everyone involved," Murphy said. The mood, however, may be changing.
The League of Wisconsin Municipalities represents hundreds of communities across the state. Franklin Mayor Steve Olson is not one of them. Franklin Mayor Steve Olson Olson said he's concerned the same buffer zone size across the board would banish offenders from densely populated areas where schools and parks are closer together and leave more spread out communities like his as the only option for the displaced offenders to live. It fixes border battles.
It stops all this foolishness about my distance is bigger than your distance," Olson said. But experts argue it's all an illusion -- that buffer zones of any size do nothing to keep us safe. Michael Caldwell, a UW psychologist said. Caldwell has spent years studying sex offenders and what makes them tick. Michael Caldwell "Buffer zones make people feel better, but really don't seem to have any impact on sexual violence," Dr. Research shows the vast majority of offenders know their victims through vocations or avocations -- family or friends.
They may travel quite a ways -- so they're not known, and the buffer zone doesn't have any effect on that," Dr. On the contrary -- moving sex offenders off the map and into the margins may actually be putting you and your family more at risk. Like the six offenders camped out at the dead end King's Motel -- which is why Pleasant Prairie's residency restrictions are now Exhibit A in a federal lawsuit.
Concerned its ordinance wouldn't stand up in court, village officials recently racheted back the restrictions. So the federal lawsuit will move forward. The six men at the King's Motel could now become a nationwide test case. The Chicago civil rights attorneys in the Pleasant Prairie case have filed a similar lawsuit against Kenosha. As for a possible statewide standard for child safety zones, lawmakers on both sides of the aisle said it's not on the radar for