APPLETON, WI (WTAQ) - Police in Appleton have completed its first compliance check of Wisconsin's sex offender registry.
The department trained officers to focus on sex offenders who completed their state-mandated supervision. Those offenders are still required to keep their current address on file with the state.
The Appleton Police Department wrapped up checks on 150 offenders in December.
They live in our neighborhoods and in many instances blend back into society. But because of their crimes, convicted sex offenders are listed on a state registry and are closely watched by authorities.
"There was a need to make sure that the sex offenders that are on the registry but don't have current supervision are complying with what is expected of them," Sgt. Dave Lund tells FOX 11.
There are currently 227 registered sex offenders living in Appleton. Just more than half of them are still on probation, parole or extended supervision. That requires regular check-ins with Department of Corrections staff.
Sgt. Lund says the compliance checks focus on sex offenders who have completed their supervision with the Department of Corrections. And he says the program came about from concerns by citizens.
"It's important for us to know where those people are in our community, we have heard from the community and it's a priority to them so it becomes a priority for us."
Eight offenders were found to be non-compliant with the registry in the first round of checks. They were referred for charges to the district attorney's office. The felony carries a maximum six year prison sentence.
A second round of checks is already underway. Lund says officers will be checking on high risk offenders three times each year. Low risk offenders will be checked once a year.