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Whitewater Common Council Approves Sex Offender Restriction Ordinance

The Whitewater Common Council voted earlier this week to approve an ordinance restricting residency to sex offenders.


The ordinance prevents sex offenders from moving to Whitewater upon their release, unless they resided there at the time of their conviction. Those offenders would be allowed to return. Whitewater is far from the only city in Wisconsin to have this ordinance, as city manager Cameron Clapper name dropped Milwaukee and Brookfield as having similar ordinances. Roughly 150 Wisconsin communities have related ordinances.


Police Chief Aaron Raap was in support of the ordinance and spoke at a previous meeting to show his support. Raap was in attendance at this meeting. He had previously spoken about the negative perception and "haven" that towns without ordinances get, and how they could become a hotbed for sex offenders to relocate to.


A second facet of the ordinance creates "Child Safety Zones", where sex offenders would be restricted from visiting. This includes being a certain distance from schools, other childcare center or recreational facility. The council opted to add skate parks to that list but removed places such as the Effigy Mounds Reserve, where children visit less frequently.


The council also approved fines ranging from $300-$1000 for violations of the ordinance. It was suggested that the fine be $500 plus cost.

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