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ATTORNEY GENERAL J.B. VAN HOLLEN'S STATEMENT REGARDING STATE ASSEMBLY PASSAGE OF ASSEMBLY BILL 737, CREATING A WISCONSIN CRIME ALERT NETWORK
MADISON - Attorney General J.B. Van Hollen issued the following statement following last night's passage of 2007 Assembly Bill 737 in the State Assembly:
I would like to commend the State Assembly for approving legislation that would authorize the Department of Justice to create a Crime Alert Network.
I strongly believe that the primary reason state and local government exists is for public safety. State spending of tax dollars should reflect that priority. Budget shortfalls are not an excuse to underfund budget priorities. Instead, they are an opportunity to reexamine what it is we believe government should do and spend limited resources accordingly. They also serve as a reminder that we in government should always think creatively about how we can achieve our goals efficiently, without creating new tax burdens.
The Wisconsin Crime Alert Network is an example of that creative thinking. We can solve more crimes, prevent more criminal activity, and safely recover more endangered missing children and adults - all without raising taxes or imposing involuntary fees.
I worked with members of both political parties to turn this proposal into legislation. I want to thank Representative Garey Bies and Senator Jeff Plale for taking the lead in their respective legislative bodies. The Crime Alert Network proposal has received strong support from the lawmakers, law enforcement, and the business community. I am optimistic that this support will continue and the State Senate will pass this legislation before the legislature adjourns.
The Crime Alert Network is a new statewide public safety initiative developed at the Department of Justice. It is a fax and email system that provides local law enforcement agencies the ability to quickly alert businesses and the public about a crime trend or a suspect in their communities. The alert can be tailored to specific types of businesses and geographic regions in order to provide the most useful information to those who are most likely affected by that crime and those who have information that could lead to the arrest of a suspect or the safe recovery of a missing child. By providing appropriate information to private citizens about criminal activity, law enforcement increases its eyes and ears, resulting in more suspects being caught, more missing children being recovered, and more crimes being prevented. For more information about the program, visit the Department of Justice's home page at http://www.doj.state.wi.us.