Keep your pervs in own counties

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Beloit should be fighting back against unwelcome placements.

IT'S HARD NOT TO WONDER: Is there some kind of conspiracy going on in out-of-town legal circles, along the lines of, "Hey, let's get rid of our perverts and dump them in Beloit. The only thing better would be sending them to Illinois."

Late last year there was an uproar in town when the state placed a La Crosse County child sex offender in a West Side residence. Now, it appears the state thinks if one is good, two would be even better. Another child sex offender - with a long record of assaulting minor boys - may become the other guy's roommate in the same West Side residence.

Underage kids live next door. State law says convicted pervs are not supposed to be placed that close. So how does this happen? Plea bargains, of course. The convicts made deals that avoid classifying them as a "serious child sex offender." So, on a technicality, they are eligible to be planted right next to vulnerable juveniles. That is more than ridiculous. It is intolerable, infuriating and potentially dangerous.

BELOIT POLICE CHIEF David Zibolski told a group of concerned citizens last week there is a measure pending in the Wisconsin legislature - Senate Bill 446 - that would require sex offenders to be placed upon release in the counties where they were convicted.

Whether that goes far enough is an open question. Could plea deals still place dangerous in-county pervs next to vulnerable kids? That would still be a problem.

But this much is certain: It's a darn sight better than the current situation, with other counties dumping their human refuse on our community.

This is a complete no-brainer. Stateline Area legislators, without regard to political party, should be all over this situation and move as quickly as possible toward a legislative fix.

A FINAL WORD: Meanwhile, what happens on Beloit's West Side? City officials seem to think placing two unrelated individuals with such backgrounds in the same residence could violate certain ordinances. City Hall should push that point - or any other it can find - as far as it can be taken. Make this as difficult and uncomfortable - and expensive - as possible. If out-of-towners have it in their head to use Beloit as a dumping ground there's only one thing to do: Fight back with every tool at the community's disposal.

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