DOC facility not causing undue problems, police say

City received 22 calls from Union St. facility in 12-month period

A state residential facility for recently released felons caused a stir in the neighborhood when it was proposed two years ago, but Shawano police say it has not caused any significant problems since going into operation.

Milwaukee-based Matt Talbot Recovery Services contracts with the state Department of Corrections to operate a six-bed temporary placement facility at 118 S. Union St.

Neighbors objected to the location, especially the possibility that recently released sex offenders would reside there.

The city denied the DOC’s request to house sex offenders at that address unless they come before the city’s Sexual Offenders Appeal Board. The board has heard only one appeal to reside there and it was denied.

Police Chief Dan Mauel reported to the Common Council on Wednesday that there had been 22 calls for service to the residence since Oct. 1 of last year.

Of those calls, 14 were requests to take someone into custody for outstanding warrants or probation and parole violations, usually at the request of probation agents.

Other calls included two welfare checks, two health-related issues, a suspicious person — who turned out to be a resident of the facility — a harassment complaint and a civil stand-by.

The most serious was a drug offense involving a resident reported to be huffing. He was arrested for abuse of hazardous substance and a probation violation.

“From law enforcement’s perspective, this is not a lot of calls,” Mauel said. “This is not atypical for a building like this.”

Mauel said the facility has not placed any additional burden on police because residents needing to be picked up for parole violations would likely be arrested elsewhere in the city if they were not housed there.

Mauel said police shared initial reservations about the facility when it was first proposed.

“We all had a concern at that time about whether that was going to cause an issue for the neighborhood,” he said. “Why I’m happy about this is because it doesn’t really look like it’s caused that much of an issue in the neighborhood.”

Though the annual review was listed on Wednesday’s agenda as a public discussion of the facility, no one from the public spoke, and none of the facility’s neighbors attended.