(WQOW)- Wisconsin has the fifth highest rate of sex offenders in the nation, according to data compiled by “Asecurelife.”
The data shows Wisconsin has 436 sex offenders per 100,000 people.
Local authorities said that number shouldn’t scare you, it means they’re doing their job.
“It’s telling us that we’re doing well in Wisconsin,” said Eau Claire County Sheriff Ron Cramer. “Whether you’re number one or number five, at least the system is working, and I think that’s the main message that I’d like to send to the people is don’t be fearful of reporting this.”
Cramer said having such a high number of sex offenders in Wisconsin doesn’t mean more sex crimes are actually happening here, it can mean victims feel more comfortable reporting them.
“The training in Wisconsin has been phenomenal,” Cramer said. “I mean you can go every year and there’s updates related to sexual assault and the proper way to do investigations on sensitive crimes, and then we pick out certain people that we think that have the wherewithal to do this type of work. Work with the victims, stay in contact with the victims.”
Having a lot of sex offenders in Wisconsin does pose some challenges, like where to place a sexually violent person.
A supervised release committee is trying to figure out where to place a sex offender, and it’s raised concerns in every area proposed, as neighbors push back against having sex offenders in their backyards.
With more people reporting sex crimes, the sheriff’s office has a bigger work load and not enough officers, because they take a lot of time to investigate.
“The lack of investigators, I have three detectives and we actually need more,” Cramer said.
Overall, he’s pleased with the work that’s being done to lock up sexually violent people.
“I’m proud of what we’ve accomplished in Wisconsin, and what our victims have accomplished by being able to come forward and report crimes and knowing that we’ll do the right thing for them,” Cramer said.
Cramer said victims can be notified through a site called Vine Link if there are any changes to the offenders case, and they would be notified if the offender is released.
You can look up your neighborhood, and see if any sex offenders live near your family.
That data comes from the Department of Justice.