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Police chief outraged over placement of 'heinous,' violent sex offender in neighborhood

(WBAY)
Published: Feb. 28, 2020 at 3:24 PM CST
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"Why on earth are they putting a Milwaukee high-risk, heinous sex offender on this little street in Green Bay?" questions Green Bay Police Chief Andrew Smith.

Smith is outraged 65-year old Bruce N. Brown is moving into a home on the 900 block of Liberty Street, on Green Bay's west side, in early March.

That street is one of very few neighborhoods in the city that falls just outside any sex offender residency restrictions of being within 1,500 feet of schools, daycares and parks.

Smith argues Brown shouldn't be placed in Green Bay. Period.

"The types of sex crimes this individual committed against strangers and against children are what leads me to believe this is one of the most heinous sex offenders that we could ever get, so the fact he's being brought into our community from another community, against our will, basically, it's nothing short of outrageous," says Smith. "I expect to hear that from the community. I've heard from neighbors living in that community. I've been told that people have actually moved out of that neighborhood because of that house that's there that's now housing these sex offenders."

Police say Brown was convicted of multiple sexual assaults involving children he didn't know dating back to the late 1970s.

But those cases are from

Milwaukee

County.

Court records show a jury found Brown 'sexually violent' in 2003 and placed him in a state-run treatment facility.

In 2014, the court approved his supervised release but couldn't find housing for him in Milwaukee County and expanded its search to surrounding counties.

Now, though, Green Bay Police say they're being told he has to be released after a court order allowed a statewide housing search.

He was granted release to Green Bay February 7th.

"Look, if this guy was an individual who grew up in Green Bay or committed his crimes in Green Bay, we wouldn't be having this conversation, because that would be our responsibility. We'll take care of that person," says Smith. "But the fact that he's coming from another place, has really no business being here and the law is allowing it, that's nothing short of outrageous."

Brown will be on electronic monitoring and can't go anywhere unsupervised.

To that, the chief says "That's sure no consolation to the people that live there. In the middle of a family neighborhood is not a place to dump a high risk sex offender from another county. It's just not. We've got to do better than that."

Smith says he's consulted judges and attorneys who tell him the law allows sex offenders to be placed in homes like the one on Liberty Street, if they can't find housing in the county where the crimes happened.

Police say the Liberty Street home is owned by someone who lives out of state and leases it to DHS for sex offender housing.

"I told my officers, if this is what the law is, then we need to change the law," says Smith.

But until then, he says police can do absolutely nothing about it other than go door-to-door talking to neighbors and holding a public meeting.

When asked if he is going to try changing the law, Smith says, "Absolutely. I just can't see sitting by idly while people are getting dumped into our community that really don't belong here."

Police, DOC and DHS officials will hold a public meeting at 6:00 p.m. Monday, March 2nd at the Southwest Branch Library on Ninth Street to talk with neighbors.

They are expecting a big crowd.

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