WAUKESHA -- Sex offenders have always lived in our communities, but it wasn't until the late 90s that law enforcement was able to share this information with the community. Now through social media, sex offenders are pinpointed on maps for neighbors to see. A sex offender just released in Waukesha is homeless.
29-year-old Thomas Kopp spent the last three years behind bars. He was convicted in 2012 of possessing child pornography.
"He created a library of child pornography through file sharing," said Sergeant Jerry Habanek with the Waukesha Police Department.
After serving his time, Kopp is now back on the streets.
"I would argue that we are safe," said Habanek. "We still do have the question of where is he going to go?"
According to the City of Waukesha sex offender residency ordinance, any registered sex offender cannot live within 1,500 feet of any school, park, park trails or anywhere children congregate. The child safe zones are indicated in green below. The boundary was recently increased from the previous 750-foot rule.
"When a sex offender moves into these communities, these neighbors who have invested in these houses and have families in these communities then feel at risk, and that's what the Common Council is responding to (with the ordinance)," said Habanek.
Before Kopp was released, he found a vacancy at the Airport Lodge. The location falls in the approved areas for sex offenders -- however, the owner of the lodge refused to allow Kopp to stay there, telling FOX6 there are children that live on the property and he didn't want to put anyone in danger.
"So that made him homeless. So now he is homeless," said Habanek.
Kopp must check in with his probation officer every week and is monitored with a GPS device.
"It is a pretty exact locator, so there's not a big fudge factor. All the schools are fenced out, so if he goes near a school, probation and parole is immediately notified and he is picked up," Habanek said.
Kopp has a prior out-of-state/military conviction for possession of child pornography. Under his current restrictions, he cannot own any device that connects to the internet, nor can he access the internet from an establishment. He is also not to have any unsupervised contact with minors.