Walker, Van Hollen announce new law enforcement proposals

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WAUKESHA (WITI) -- Gov. Scott Walker and Attorney General J.B. Van Hollen announced Tuesday a series of law enforcement proposals. Those proposals would be covered in the upcoming budget, which will be presented later this month.

Walker and Van Hollen focused on three proposals in particular; proposals that would require about $10 million in funding.

First, Gov. Walker announced plans to make an additional $3 million available for counties to use on GPS monitoring devices. The monitors would be used specifically for cases involving a restraining order.

"In a case like that, it'd be very likely a court now given the authority, would say this person needs to be monitored because they pose a threat to the person seeking the restraining order," said Gov. Walker.

Right now, a judge can only require the use of such devices when a restraining order is violated. Walker says judges should to be able to order GPS monitoring at the same time the restraining order is granted if the judge believes there's an imminent threat to the victim or the public at large.

Another proposal would set aside $900,000 for the attorney general's office to expand its investigation into internet crimes against children.

"These victims do not report as a general rule. That is why we need specially trained analysts and investigators who know where to look to seek out these cases," said Van Hollen.

Van Hollen said five new positions would be created for investigators and analysts to focus mainly on child sex trafficking. Van Hollen says there's little data available now about how many children are forced into prostitution in Wisconsin, which is why the state needs people working full-time to gather information about the problem.

Lastly, the governor and attorney general expressed a desire to expand the state's ability to collect DNA samples from criminals. They want to allow sample collection at the time of arrest instead of upon conviction only.

"This program expands that to all felons, everybody who currently has to give a sample and conviction would have to give one at arrest or booking," said Van Hollen.

The ACLU of Wisconsin says it vehemently opposes this proposal, saying it undermines the notion that suspects are innocent until proven guilty.

"Where do you stop? If you have this idea, let's put more and more people in the database, presumably, we could take DNA samples from babies at the hospital and sooner or later, have everyone in the database," said Chris Ahmuty of the ACLU of Wisconsin.

Walker and Van Hollen say growing the DNA database will protect the innocent by making it easier for police to rule out potential suspects and exonerate those wrongly accused.

The proposals were announced at the Waukesha County Sheriff's Department. The governor and attorney general also held press conferences about the proposals in Wausau, Hudson, and La Crosse.

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