LA CROSSE, Wis. (WEAU) -- The Wisconsin Department of Corrections has made it easier to find registered sex offenders in your community.
The Wisconsin Sex Offender Registry Website lets you look up registrants who live within a one, two or three mile radius of certain address.
Grace Roberts, the director of sex offender programs, said you can also get E-mail notifications if someone on the registry moves in close to you.
“Essentially an informed community is a safer community so getting the information out and letting people know who the registered sex offenders are is just helpful for people to be able to protect themselves and their families,” said Roberts.
Onalaska Police Chief Jeff Trotnic said there are certain requirements registered sex offenders have to meet.
“Report in with the county sheriff’s department, and then if they live in a municipality they need to report to the municipality, and fill out some documents with us, and we keep that on file along with their photograph,” said Trotnic.
Trotnic said any change to the sex offender registry that keeps the community informed is a positive one.
“It’s always good for the parents, and for the community to feel safe,” said Trotnic.
There are more than 23,000 people who are required to register on Wisconsin’s Offender Registry.
More than 17,000 of them are in the community, and the rest are in prison.
The state Department of Corrections says Wisconsin's sex offender registry website is now searchable by address.
The Wisconsin State Journal reports people can now enter a specific address and search for registered offenders who live within a three-mile radius. People have been able to search the registry only by name or zip code since 2001.
The revamped website also includes a community notification system, which allows people to get email alerts when a registered sex offender provides a home address that's near an address of interest.