UPDATE: Gov. Walker wants more DNA collection, GPS monitoring - WQOW TV: Eau Claire, WI NEWS18 News, Weather, and Sports

UPDATE: Gov. Walker wants increased DNA collection, GPS monitoring

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MADISON (WKOW) -- Governor Scott Walker (R-Wisconsin) says the state needs to do more to stop violent crime and protect victims.

That is why he is proposing $14 million dollars in additional spending for local law enforcement efforts.

The bulk of it, $6 million, would go towards collecting DNA from anyone arrested for a felony.

That's something the mother of Madison murder victim Brittany Zimmerman strongly supports.

On April 2nd, 2008, someone murdered the 21 year-old Zimmerman in her apartment near the UW campus.

Police have never found Zimmerman's killer, but her mother hopes the plan to increase the number of people swabbed for DNA will change that.

"And hopefully we'll have a hit on the person who took our daughter's life," said Jean Zimmerman, who joined Governor Walker at a news conference in Wausau Tuesday.

Gov. Walker's plan is to give local law enforcement the tools to perform DNA swabs on all felony arrestees as we all people arrested for some sexually related misdemeanors.

"You can't fool DNA.  If we have that technology available, why wouldn't we want to have the largest database possible?," said Gov. Walker, who predicts an extra 68,000 samples would be collected annually.

The Governor also wants to see an additional $3 million appropriated to put GPS monitors on people who are under first-time restraining orders and have exhibited violent or threatening behavior.

It comes after last October's deadly shooting spree at the Azana Salon in Brookfield, when Radcliffe Haughton killed his estranged wife Zina and two other women, before taking his own life.

A court had issued a restraining order against Haughton just two weeks earlier for slashing his wife's tires.

"I think we should try everything we can to keep people safer," said Patti Seger, Executive Director of the Wisconsin Coalition Against Domestic Violence.  "The loss of life, 50 to 60 people per year in Wisconsin, due to domestic violence is far too much." 

Seger says GPS monitoring is not a cure-all, but it is a step forward.  The legislature passed a bill last session that goes into effect in 2014, which will allow judges to assign GPS monitors to people who have violated of restraining orders and used or threatened violence.

"With proper education for victims, they'll understand what the GPS device can do and can't do for them," said Seger.

Governor Walker is also asking for $4 million to go towards services for sexual assault victims and $1 million for five new employees at the Internet Crimes Against Children Task Force.

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MADISON (WKOW) -- A new law enforcement budget initiative Gov. Scott Walker released Tuesday would allow courts to require GPS monitoring of certain dangerous individuals receiving first-time restraining orders.

The governor is proposing $3 million to help pay for the program, which would require courts to find a person is likely to cause serious bodily harm. 

Among the factors to be considered are: whether the person has allegedly caused physical injury, intentionally abused pets or damaged property, or committed sexual assault, an act of strangulation, or forcible entry to gain access to the petitioner; whether the person has threatened any individual, including the petitioner, with harm; whether the person has a history of improperly using or threatening to use a firearm or other dangerous weapon.

Gov. Walker first mentioned the possibility of increasing the amount of GPS monitoring last fall, after Radcliffe Haughton killed his estranged wife Zina and two other people at the Azana Spa and Salon in Brookfield on October 21st. A court had issued a temporary restraining order against Radcliffe Haughton just two weeks earlier, after he had slashed the tires on Zina Haughton's car as it sat in the Azana parking lot. But the court did not place Radcliffe Haughton under GPS monitoring.

That proposal is part of a $14 million package to increase the safety of victims. Other measures would put $1 million into the Internet Crimes Against Children's Task Force for five new employees, and provide $4 million for Sexual Assault Victims Services.

Another measure would provide $6 million for local law enforcement to conduct DNA swabs of every person arrested for a felony.

Capitol Bureau Chief Greg Neumann will have live reports on the Governor's law enforcement proposals on 27 News at 5 and 6.

 

 

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