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MADISON - Protecting Wisconsin's kids from online sex predators, targeting illegal aliens engaged in criminal gang activity, enhancing assistance to Wisconsin's law enforcement agencies, and providing resources to victims of crime are among the top initiatives in Wisconsin Attorney General J.B. Van Hollen 2009-2011 Department of Justice budget request, which was submitted yesterday to Governor Jim Doyle.


Attorney General Van Hollen's priorities lie in three major areas:


Additional law enforcement staff to target on-line sex predators and illegal aliens engaged in criminal gang activity. Attorney General Van Hollen is requesting nine additional law enforcement staff for the Division of Criminal Investigation. Five of these positions will increase our ability to protect Wisconsin's children from sex predators who utilize the Internet to prey on kids. Two special agents will partner with Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) to focus on criminal gang activity involving illegal aliens. Two positions will partially replace narcotics enforcement positions previously funded through a Federal grant.


Enhance assistance to Wisconsin law enforcement agencies - The Department of Justice is proposing an update of critical electronic law enforcement support systems for both the Automated Fingerprint Identification System (AFIS) and the Criminal History Records System. Fingerprints left at crime scenes are compared with the million plus fingerprints records stored on AFIS. These upgrades will increase efficiency and ultimately improve public safety throughout Wisconsin. In addition, Van Hollen is proposing a Wisconsin Crime Alert Network, which will electronically connect law enforcement with participating individuals and businesses, providing them with information relating to criminal activity and missing persons.


Resources for Crime Victims - Attorney General Van Hollen is also requesting additional resources to meet the State's obligation to crime victims through the Crime Victim Compensation Fund and to assist counties with reimbursement for services provided to crime victims and witnesses, including witness protection.


"Public safety is state government's top priority," said Van Hollen. "Budgets should reflect this priority. My proposed budget targets specific areas where we can do the most to protect public safety. Though public safety should have the first claim to the public treasury, I am mindful of the difficult fiscal condition the State is in," said Van Hollen. "That is why I have limited my requests and returned $1 million to the general fund last fiscal year. I will continue to search for efficiencies throughout the Department."


"On behalf of law enforcement officers, crime victims, and the citizens of Wisconsin I am proud to submit a budget that will enhance public safety throughout the State," said Van Hollen.