Assembly to take up bill expanding strip search authority

Sweep targeting internet child sex predators nets 87 arrests in Wisconsin

The Wisconsin Assembly is set to take up a bill Thursday that would expand authorities’ ability to conduct strip searches.

Currently, anyone arrested or detained on suspicion of a crime that isn’t a felony can only be strip-searched if the person will be held in jail or prison with others for at least 12 hours. The Republican bill would remove the 12-hour requirement.

Republicans say the bill would increase safety for inmates and guards. Democrats have questioned how Republicans could expand strip searches despite police abuses. In January, Milwaukee’s city council approved a $5 million settlement with 74 black men who alleged they were subjected to illegal strip and body cavity searches by Milwaukee police.

The bill cleared the Senate last month and is scheduled for an Assembly vote Thursday.