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HomeMy WebLinkAboutPolicy 131 – Sex Offender RegistrationOSHKOSH POLICE DEPARTMENT POLICY AND PROCEDURE TITLE: Sex Offender Registration and Public Notification POLICY SERIES: 131 Effective Date: November 26, 2020 Date Issued: November 11, 2020 Chief of Police: Chief Dean Smith (Signature on File) Date Signed: November 11, 2020 CALEA Standard: NA WILEAG Standards: NA Statutory References: 301.45, 301.46 Final Review Date: October 29, 2020 Review By: Command Staff / PSD Lieutenant Rescinds Policy Dated: June 13, 1997 SECTION DESCRIPTION 131.01 Purpose 131.02 Policy 131.03 Definitions 131.04 Procedures 131.05 Sex Offender Registry Inquiry and Access 131.06 Sex Offender Intelligence Management 131.07 General Public Inquiries 131.08 Face -to -Face Contact 131.09 Community Notification 131.10 Community Meetings 131.11 Open Records 131.12 Amie's Law Appendix A Law Enforcement Manual 1 131.01 Purpose The purpose of this policy is to provide a method for sex offender registration and community notification to address the concerns of the public regarding the location of convicted sex offenders who may be a risk for committing further offenses. Further, the intent of the policy is to enhance the distribution of information between law enforcement agencies, and between law enforcement and non -criminal justice agencies. By sharing relevant information about sex offenders, law enforcement can develop strategies for the detection and prevention of crime. 131.02 Policy It is the policy of the Oshkosh Police Department to ensure that upon notification from the Wisconsin Department of Corrections of the release of an offender into the community, proper notification of the release be made to public and private organizations and agencies in the interest of public protection. The Oshkosh Police Department will participate as a member of a multijurisdictional law enforcement team in determining which agencies/organizations should be notified of the release. The intent of the team is to balance the public's need to be informed with the offender's need to be successfully reintegrated into the community. Protection of the public from sex offenders is a paramount governmental interest. Persons found to have committed a sex offense have a reduced expectation of privacy because of the public's interest in public safety and in the effective operation of government. Release of relevant information about sex offenders to law enforcement agencies, public and private entities and the general public will further the governmental interests of public safety and enhance strategies for crime prevention and detection. 131.03 Definitions A. Special Bulletin Notifications (SBNs) -Written notification process giving law enforcement detailed information from the Department of Corrections (DOC) or Health Services on a specific offender who is about to be released from confinement to their geographic area. B. Relevant Offender Information -information that is deemed necessary to protect the public concerning a specific person required to register under the law. Victim identity cannot be disclosed. Juvenile registrant information, can only be released by law enforcement. 2 C. Sex Offender Registrant - a person convicted, adjudicated or committed under any felony sexual offense, or convicted of an offense where the court has determined that the offense was "sexually motivated." 131.04 Procedure A. Sex Offender Registry (SOR): The Department of Corrections (DOC) requires that released sex offender registrants on supervision report to local law enforcement officials (by appointment) for face-to-face contact within 10 days upon their release or placement to community supervision and whenever they move to another law enforcement jurisdiction. B. Offenders not on supervision are required to update information at least annually with DOC Sex Offender Registry, but are not required to meet face- to-face with local law enforcement. If the offender has been committed under the sexually violent person law, the offender must verify information every ninety (90) days with DOC SOR. C. Special Bulletin Notification: On most occasions, DOC provides the Special Bulletin Notification to all law enforcement agencies at least 30 days prior to an inmate's release from Wisconsin state prison, mental health or juvenile confinement in the county and jurisdictions of the offender's planned residence, employment or school enrollment. 131.05 Sex Offender Registry Inquiry and Access A. DOC's Sex Offender Registry is an informational database that is available to law enforcement through CIB/TIME system inquiry. Investigatory inquiries on "offender profiling" and "offense pattern" information are available for every registered sex offender for investigatory purposes only. When making an investigatory inquiry, requests must be made in writing on official letterhead or by telephone to the DOC Sex Offender Registration Program (608-240-5830). B. All telephone inquiries will be followed up with a return phone call by Sex Offender Registry staff to verify the law enforcement request. C. Release of registry information will be in the form of official letter or fax to the requesting law enforcement agency. 3 131.06 Sex Offender Intelligence Management A. It will be the responsibility of the Criminal Investigation Division (CID) Lieutenant to maintain individual files on all known registered sex offenders who reside in the City of Oshkosh. B. Each sex offender registrant file will have a copy of the Special Bulletin Notification (if issued), all face-to-face contact reports, all field notes, current photograph, and any other relevant report or information source. C. Sex offender registrants not on supervision and not required to meet face-to- face with law enforcement will be inquired through the Sex Offender Registry web site, through CIB/TIME database, and DOC Sex Offender Registration Specialist for Winnebago County for current information when necessary. D. When the Oshkosh Police Department knows of an unsupervised sex offender registrant moving from the City of Oshkosh, the CID Lieutenant may contact the new jurisdiction and inform them of the sex offender registrant's relocation. Accordingly, copies of all pertinent intelligence reports will be sent to the jurisdiction where the sex offender registrant resides. E. When a sex offender registrant is on supervision and required to meet face-to- face with a law enforcement agency after moving into a new jurisdiction, the CID Lieutenant will contact the Probation and Parole supervising agent for information on the offender. The CID Lieutenant may contact the former law enforcement agency of jurisdiction to inform the previous jurisdiction of the move and for exchanging intelligence information. 131.07 General Public Inquiries A. The CID Lieutenant or Public Affairs/Crime Prevention Officer may provide to members of the general public certain information from the registry regarding a specific registrant convicted or adjudicated, if, in the opinion of the Oshkosh Police Department, providing the information is necessary to protect the public. B. The Oshkosh Police Department may require the request in writing to include the name of the registrant along with any other information the law enforcement official considers necessary to accurately identify the individual in the registry. 4 C. It is critical that the requestor provides detailed and sufficient information regarding the individual about whom he/she is inquiring. At a minimum this should include: 1. Individual's name 2. Approximate age plus or minus 5 years D. Insufficient or general identifying information may lead to an inconclusive or inaccurate search. E. Once sufficient information is obtained, response to public requests can be made by: 1. Conducting CIB/TIME inquiry 2. Conducting web site search through the law enforcement SOR web site (WILENET access) 3. Referring the requestor to contact the DOC SOR toll -free number 4. Providing the requestor with: a. Verification that the individual is or is not on the registry b. If on the registry, name and any aliases of registrant c. Date of conviction, adjudication or commitment d. Supervising agency and phone number e. Date information last updated F. Additional information may be provided if in the opinion of the Police Chief, release of the information is in the best interest of protecting the public. G. When contacted by a person from the general public, he/she will be also informed of the accessibility of the Sex Offender Registry via the following general public web site address: https://appsdoc.wi.gov/public 131.08 Face -to -Face Contact A. Registrants on supervision to the DOC will be required to make face-to-face contact with law enforcement. Off supervision registrants are NOT required by law to do a face to face contact with law enforcement. Law enforcement can fingerprint/photograph registrants who make face-to-face contact with their 5 department. Law enforcement may also request the registrant to fill out an informational questionnaire and possibly videotape any part of the face to face contact procedure. B. Each state operates their sex offender registry in a different manner. If an out of state sex offender registrant does report to local law enforcement for registration, the CID Lieutenant shall contact the local Sex Offender Registry Specialist with that information, in order for the individual to be screened for placement on WI SOR. C. If any officer comes in contact with a non -compliant sex offender registrant, the officer shall contact the local Sex Offender Registry Specialist or Sex Offender Registry directly. 131.09 Community Notification A. The Oshkosh Police Department will participate in a regional decision -making team for a coordinated community notification plan. The team will consist of representatives from area law enforcement agencies and DOC representatives that have received or are directly impacted by the Special Bulletin Notification. B. Optional team representatives may be utilized on a case -by -case basis from local agencies and organizations that are likely to receive notification. C. The lead law enforcement agency in a particular case may be determined by the jurisdiction where the offender plans to reside. D. The decision -making process for determining the level of community notification should involve a review and discussion of the information contained in the Special Bulletin Notification and any additional release planning information provided by the supervising DOC agent. E. Following a case review and discussion by the notification team a recommendation shall be made to the Chief of Police regarding community notification. If a decision is made for notification beyond law enforcement, the prevailing interest in the community notification is not to impose additional punishment or harassment of the offender, but to provide information to those individuals, agencies and organizations that need to know the potential risks involved with this release. The following levels of notification are provided. 1. Level I Notification — Limited to Law Enforcement 6 2. Level II Notification -Targeted Notification 3. Level III Notification - Expanded/Community Wide Notification 131.10 Community Meetings If expanded notification (Level III) is decided, it is recommended that a community meeting be arranged to inform the community of pertinent information, provide a forum for answering questions, and quell possible negative or hostile reactions to the release. Refer to Appendix A - Wisconsin Sex Offender Registration and Community Notification Law Enforcement Manual. 131.10 Open Records Wisconsin State Statutes 301.45 and 301.46 establish a procedure to obtain information from the registry. It is not intended to conflict with or replace any process related to established open records request procedures. 131.11 Immunity Wisconsin State Statutes 301.45 and 301.46 specify that a person acting under the "access to information" is immune from civil liability for any good faith act or omission regarding the release of information authorized under this statute. This immunity does not extend to a person whose act or omission constitutes gross negligence or involves reckless, wanton or intentional misconduct [s.301.46(7)]. 131.12 Amie's Law Wisconsin State Statute 301.46 allows for the distribution of juvenile sex offender information to the general public. The information provided should be limited in scope in accordance with statute 301.46. 7