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Suicide is a problem within the law enforcement community due to the daily stress and rigors an officer is subjected to.  To learn more, please view the Kenosha Police Department's newest video about Law Enforcement Suicide Prevention.  If you know of someone in need of assistance, please reach out to get the needed help.

Chief John W. Morrissey has released the Kenosha Police Department 2013 Annual Report.  Please check out the report to see what the Kenosha Police Department did in 2013.

To read about Wisconsin's Conceal Carry Law, click here.

The Kenosha Police Dept. Honor Guard is a member organization in the Wisconsin Honor Guard Association


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Sensitive Crimes Unit FAQs

Wisconsin Community Notification Act

Click on the question, and it will bring you to the answer.

What is "Community Notification" all about?     (back to questions)

An individual who has been convicted of a sex offense, or another related offense, has been released from prison, work release, or other secure facility, and is living in the area where you live or work. The purpose of the information contained in this packet is to provide you and your loved ones with additional strategies for crime prevention and detection. These are strategies you may not have thought about if you were unaware of the background of this offender, or had no knowledge of his/her release, or place of residence. Wisconsin statutes provide the opportunity for the Kenosha Police/Sheriff's Department to give you the information you need, so that you may make good decisions with regard to the safety of yourself and those around you.

This offender has been convicted of a crime that requires registration with the county sheriff's and police department where the offender resides; in this case, Kenosha County. By registering, law enforcement is apprised of any changes in an offender's residence. This information is regularly updated and maintained on a computer system by the Wisconsin Department of Corrections Sex Offender Registry. This information provides local law enforcement agencies with essential information as to the nature and whereabouts of certain convicted criminals who reside in their jurisdictions. The public has limited access to information from the registry, for more information call 1-800-398-2403.


Why does the Kenosha Police conduct meetings?      (back to questions)

As a result of the Wisconsin Community Notification Act, the Kenosha Police Department now has the opportunity to share information regarding a sex offender's residence location, crime(s), methods of operation and conditions of release with the public. The information is provided to you in accordance with Wisconsin statutes, various court decisions and with policies established by a panel of police officers, sheriffs, and corrections professionals.

Much concern, effort, and consideration have been contributed by all persons involved in developing the policy on sex offender release notification. This is to ensure that the information provided to you by the Kenosha Police Department will be accurate and informative. In the end, we hope to provide a safer community. Kenosha law enforcement firmly believes that this can be achieved by interaction and communication between, and among, members of the community and local law enforcement.

Please take the time to read the information provided here, and become familiar with the procedures and actions described in this community notification process. The Kenosha Police Department thanks you for your concern and participation, and welcomes your questions and comments at the end of the meeting.


Why is this offender moving into my community?      (back to questions)

This individual has committed a crime that has been reported to a police agency. That agency investigated the report and arrested the individual. The local prosecuting attorney for that jurisdiction determined the criminal statutes violated. They charged the suspect with those violations and went to court to convict this individual of those crimes.

The offender was either found guilty by a judge or jury, or as happens in most of these cases, pled guilty to the offenses with which he or she was charged. When an offender is released from prison, he or she usually returns to the same area of residence from which they lived when the crime was committed. Most offenders are released to the jurisdiction that originally gained the conviction. Sometimes offenders are released to another jurisdiction because they may have family support there, additional treatment to complete at a program located in the other jurisdiction, or they may have found a job in the area that will lead to a productive lifestyle.


If this offender is so dangerous, why are you letting him out in the first place?      (back to questions)

Under the current Wisconsin statutes, when a person has served two thirds of his maximum sentence, he must be released to the community under the supervision of a probation officer. Some offenders are released earlier by the parole board. This person will be supervised until the end of his sentence date and in some cases may have an additional period of probation supervision on other charges.

Some individuals who are supervised in the community may have served all of their prison sentence and are committed under Chapter 980. Chapter 980 is a commitment proceeding that determines whether a person is mentally disordered and is dangerous because there is a substantial probability that the individual will engage in acts of sexual violence. This decision is made by a court; if the person is committed then the court decides whether the person should be in an inpatient setting or is appropriate for supervised released and community treatment.


Don't these offenders get sentenced to long prison terms and just get right back out again?      (back to questions)

This is simply not true. Many Wisconsin sex offenders serve long prison terms and are closely supervised upon release from prison. They report regularly to their probation and parole officer, have unscheduled visits from their agent and may be on electronic monitoring. In addition, they have other conditions of release in order to stay out of prison. These requirements may include, but are not limited to: no consumption of alcohol, regular attendance in treatment groups, holding a job, having no contacts with victims, no contact with children, and complying with sex offender registration.


Don't these offenders just go to prison and sit around all day?    
(back to questions)

When an offender goes to prison, a number of important activities are initiated to ensure that the offender gets the kind of controls and support required. These activities are based on the type of offense for which they have been convicted and help identify the type of criminal behavior an offender committed in the past (if any).

Many offenders have problems with chemicals, and many of those individuals have an opportunity to participate in chemical dependency treatment. Other offenders are found to be illiterate, and are offered basic education programs. Those convicted of a sex offense, or another crime which is related to a sex offense, will generally be offered an opportunity to participate in sex offender treatment.

Most inmates must either work or participate in treatment. They do not sit around all day and do nothing. If they do not participate in their assigned treatment, they can be forced to do more time in prison

If they refuse to work, they will be disciplined. Discipline usually entails being segregated from the other prisoners in solitary confinement.

These activities are designed to provide offenders who want to avoid future problems with the law an opportunity to learn the things they need to know in order to stay out of trouble. The most important reason that offenders are encouraged to participate in these programs, is to reduce the likelihood they will fall into the same patterns of past behaviors and hopefully, preventing them from committing another crime and victimizing another person.


Why are you only telling me about this offender and not all of the other people who get out of prison?     (back to questions)

The Wisconsin Community Notification Act involves only offenders who have violated criminal sexual statutes, or other related statutes that indicate victimization of children or others. The statute requires notification to law enforcement of certain types of offenders and gives the departments of Corrections and Health and Family Services discretion with the types of information released to law enforcement with others. The statute does not provide notification to law enforcement for ALL offenders.


Doesn't this mean that it is just a matter of time before the offender commits another crime?     (back to questions)

The actuarial risk prediction process is much like the process insurance companies use when determining the insurance costs of a particular driver. If the driver has speeding tickets, they will pose a greater risk to be in a traffic accident than drivers who have not; thus, they will pay more for their insurance. Those drivers who have had a DWI conviction pay more for their insurance because they are more likely to get in an accident than speeders. When someone gets enough tickets, they have to buy "risk" insurance because they have the greatest risk of being involved in an accident. Not all speeders or persons convicted of driving while intoxicated get into accidents. In fact, most of them will not even have accidents; it's just that they are statistically more likely to have an accident than are other drivers.

Similarly, not all offenders with a high score on the risk test, or even most of them, will commit another crime. They are just more likely to commit another crime than an offender with a low score. Individuals who score really high on this screening process are referred to the county attorney for civil commitment to a state hospital after they are released from prison.

There is no known way that anyone can accurately predict the future behavior of another person. The process of screening individuals in prison places them into risk categories. This doesn't mean that the Department of Corrections has devised a way to predict future behavior. Rather, it means that there is a scientific way to evaluate an offender's past behaviors by comparing their past behaviors with other individuals who have been out of prison for awhile. This shows how offenders might act once they are released.


Now that I know a sex offender lives in my neighborhood, what should I do differently to protect myself and my family?     (back to questions)

Open communication between parents and children are vital components of family safety. In general terms, tell your children that this person has hurt someone before. Explain to them that they should stay away from this individual. Review safety tips, and be aware of common lures. Remember, the purpose behind

community notification is to reduce the chances of future victimization of persons by this offender. The information gained through this notification should assist you and your family in avoiding situations that allow for easy access to victims. Don't harass your neighbor. An offender put in a stressful state is more likely to relapse. Let's help them succeed; we all win with fewer victims.


What do I tell my children about this offender?      (back to questions)

Avoid scary details. You may know more than your children need to know. Keep information general, as it may protect them from others who would try to harm them as well. Explain the importance of avoiding dangerous situations in general, rather than trying to teach them how to be safe from just the one person you know about. Over 80 percent of all sex crimes are committed by someone known to the victim; many of those incidents are committed by family members.

Some basics about this one offender:

DON'T accept a ride from the offender.

DON'T go into a home or yard of the offender.

TELL your parents if this person offers you toys, money, or gifts.

TRY to use the buddy system when children play outdoors.

CALL 911 if your parents aren't home and you are approached by this offender.


Are you going to tell us if the offender moves out of this neighborhood, so we don't have to worry anymore?     (back to questions)

No. The information shared about sex offenders is basic safety information that we should all know. There are many sex offenders in Wisconsin, as well as in every other state. It would serve no purpose to have people relax, or not follow safety measures because the sex offender they knew about moved from the neighborhood. Sex offenders, like anyone else, establish friendships and business relationships in the area where they are living. There is no reason to believe they would give up these relationships just because they have moved to another part of town or the county.


Additional resources:      (back to questions)

Kenosha Police Department, Detective Bureau - 605-5203; Sergeant John Morrissey, Crime Prevention Unit, 656-7333.

Kenosha County Sheriff's Department, Detective Bureau - 605-5102; Sergeant of Administration, John Schwarz, 605-5133.

Women's Horizons - 652-9900, 800-853-3503, 652-1846 (emergency shelter, legal advocacy, support groups, children's program, 24-hour crisis line, referrals, counseling).

Pathways of Courage - A Center for Survivors of Sexual and Domestic Violence - P.O. Box 1643, Kenosha, WI 53141, 656-3500, 800-594-5272, 657-5272 (24-hour hotline, advocacy, support groups, community evaluation), (advocacy, battered women's groups, outreach, and education).

Department of Corrections, Bureau of Offender Programs, Sex Offender Registration Specialist, Laurie Swenson - 653-7157

National Center for Missing and Exploited Children - 800-843-5678 or visit their worldwide web site at:

Kenosha Human Development Services, 657-7188, 800-236-7188 (24-hour phone and face-to-face crisis counseling, information and referral for all community social services).

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