Eau Claire County Supervised Release Committee continues search for housing sexually violent person

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Eau Claire (WQOW) — The search for space to house sex offenders in Eau Claire County has raised concern across the county.

You’ll recall last month when Fairchild residents were upset as the Supervised Release Committee considered building housing for sex offenders in the area. Tuesday, the committee proposed placing an offender in a home on the corner of Webster Avenue and Fear Street in Eau Claire, which brought out more concerned citizens.

“I know that the theory is that people serve their time and they need to go somewhere, but not in our neighborhood, not in the safe zone,” said Anne Hamland, the homeowner next door to the proposed sex offender house.

The committee is now back at the drawing board after dozens of residents expressed their concerns, calling for committee members to reconsider moving a sexually violent person into their neighborhood. A point echoed by nearly all who spoke at the meeting: how many kids take the path in front of the property to and from school every day. “Right now I’m worried about my kids. I’m not worried about that person who made bad choices. I could care less,” added Hamland.

After considering community input, committee members agreed the Webster Avenue location is not an appropriate location to house sex offenders.

“Everyone on the committee, most if not all, live in the community,” said Rick Eaton, assistant corporation counsel and chair of the Supervised Release Committee. “We’re going to do our best, but we also have to follow state law.”

The Supervised Release Committee will continue to consider its options. The next meeting is May 28 at 10 a.m. in the Eau Claire County Courthouse (room G034). You can find more about the committee here.

Samantha Wensel

Samantha Wensel

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