Village of Hartland bans sex offenders from moving in, working on ordinance

NOW: Village of Hartland bans sex offenders from moving in, working on ordinance


WAUKESHA COUNTY, WI (CBS 58) - Residents and officials in Hartland are concerned about the high number of sex offenders who live there.

The small village has the highest saturation rate in Waukesha County, according to one board member. 

"The Department of Corrections was placing another sex offender, at that point we weren't sure how many sex offenders we had in Hartland," said Jeffery Anson, Hartland village board member.

According to online records, there are currently 32 people classified as sex offenders who live in the Milwaukee suburb.

It's unsettling for village board president, Jeffery Pfannerstill. "I know that sex offenders live very near to where children congregate, whether it be bus stops, schools, churches."

As a result, the village passed a moratorium banning more of them from moving in.

"The moratorium is in place so no other sex offenders can be placed in Hartland right now, until we bring the percentage down, I believe it's 1-point-1."

In the meantime, officials will be working on an ordinance that'll limit where sex offenders can live.

However, civil rights attorneys believe the bans are unconstitutional.

"Residency bans like the ones being proposed here are both completely ineffective at preventing crime and unconstitutional," said Adele Nicholas, who has represented sex offenders in restriction cases. "They simply make people's lives impossible."

Other cities and towns have been doing the opposite, reversing the laws. Last year, the City of Milwaukee got rid of its sex offender restrictions.        

Hartland village board members said it might take up to a year before the ordinance takes effect.

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